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A PASSION FOR PAINT FABULOUS FINISHING TOUCHES NO. 113 VOL. 19 NO. 3 AUS $7.95* NZ $8.90 (both incl. gst)




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In this issue ... in each issue 6 8 12 92 94 140 142 144

Editor’s letter Diary notes Baker’s dozen Raising the bar: Drinks Class act: Cooking schools Out and about Off the shelf Mailbag

profiles 14 A passion for paint Interior designer Helen King and her conductor husband, Adrian, moved from the UK to Queensland 24 Paddock to plate A career in catering has taken Brigid Kennedy from the high seas to the Southern Highlands of NSW

34 Haven in the hills Evelyn Neis has transformed her Adelaide Hills home 42 A purl of a yarn Victorian farmer Cheryl Crosbie is Australia’s only Gotland breeder 46 A spirited revival The Jimenez family has brought life into the ghost town of Joadja 52 Fellow travellers Nathan and Jodie Overell are bringing visitors to the Lost World Valley 68 Defying the odds Victoria’s only female racing judge has been horse mad since the age of eight 76 Finishing touches Soft furnishings, lifestyle accessories and final flourishes for your home

82 Drama queens Loreto Normanhurst School is a breeding ground for actors

creative profile 114 Light & shade Meet Tasmanian lighting and furniture designer, Duncan Meerding

gardening 60 Wild & wonderful Mt Wilson in the NSW Blue Mountains is James Stein’s haven

travel 102 A weather eye A cruise along Tasmania’s southern coastline takes in stunning scenery, historic ports and challenging seas

country cooking 86 Pick of the crop Tangy tamarillo treats 96 The flavour chasers Sally Wise hosts lunch in the garden at her Derwent Valley home

product news 138 Store strolling 146 Stockists 4



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As this issue went to press, the drought dragged on and on.

Enjoy the Ride, Akubra has you covered.

While some farms in western Queensland and northwestern NSW received good rain, the falls were patchy, and while one farmer might have been celebrating the good fortune of “getting under a cloud”, his neighbour missed out entirely and could do little more than cast envious i glances lances over the fence at the green growth. In the midst of all this doom and gloom, however, came the news that the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners were making their ninth donated hay run to help farmers in drought-affected areas. It turned out to be an epic drought relief effort, entirely coordinated and executed by volunteers … 120 trucks carrying 4500 bales and rolls of hay travelling more than 1500 kilometres each way from Darlington Point on the Murrumbidgee River to Ilfracombe in the heartland of Queensland’s drought. It’s truly amazing that countless Australians donated hay, trucks and food for the Drought Angels’ care packages, not to mention their logistical support and time and energy to help people they’ve never met in their time of need. I don’t need to meet Brendan Farrell, the Riverina farmer who started this amazing project, to know he’s an all-round good guy. “I’m just a bloke with a truck,” he says. “Once that pill of giving hits your heart you know what it’s all about.” He’s planning to go again. And again … and again until the drought ends, or the volunteer truckies can no longer find hay to give to those in need. Or afford to fuel the trucks for the journey. It’s often difficult for city folk to know how to help our country cousins at times like this. But now there is something very real we can do. It costs about $2000 in fuel for each truck to make the journey. Please add your donation to the hay runners’ efforts to help cover that fuel bill. For more information visit Meanwhile, in this issue we feature an inspiring bunch of country folk who bring a diverse range of experiences and products to our tables, homes and wardrobes. We’ve travelled all over and found fabulous food stories and recipes as well as decorating tips, travel suggestions and gardening inspiration. I look forward to seeing you in the next issue, which goes on sale April 29. Kirsty McKenzie, Editor

You can rely on Akubra hats for durability, comfort and style, even in the most extreme conditions. Like this western style hat, inspired by Australia’s iconic outback Rough Riders. The Akubra ‘Rough Rider’ features a Pro Rodeo brim and centre-creased western crown, along with a braided double horse hair tail band and satin lining.

helping out on this issue are ... BRONTE CAMILLERI STYLIST & LOCATION SCOUT

Bronte’s career began in visual merchandising for major Australian retailers, including R. M. Williams, Myer and Cue. She has been a lecturer on the subject for the tertiary education system. She has worked on a range of projects from small studio propping to major photo shoots for international corporations. Ross williams PHOTOGRAPHER

For this and other great Akubra hats visit:

Akubra, Australian made, worn the world over.

Ross has been a photographer for 30 years, shooting food, wine and commercial and residential architecture, as well as travelling overseas to shoot everything from mining projects to aircraft. He relishes the challenge of arriving at a previously unseen location and working on the best way to showcase it. @australiancountrymag


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don't miss ...


By Daria Kurilo

make a date to celebrate these diverse events around the country. March 17–30 (NSW)

Sydney Royal Easter Show

CLOCKWISE FROM THIS IMAGE: Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour; Easter Vintage Festival; Cunnamulla’s Cully Fest; Wagga Wagga’s Stone the Crows Festival; Sydney Royal Easter Show.

Hats on Sydney! Celebrate all things Australian from bush heritage to our modern-day lifestyle at the annual Sydney Royal Easter Show. See more than 12,500 world-class Sydney Royal competitions, watch woodchips fly in the Wimbledon of woodchopping and relax in the Sydney Royal Beer and Wine Garden. Attracting close to 900,000 people each year, this event provides a unique experience for everyone.

March 24 - April 24 (NSW)

Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour

March 22–28 (NSW)

Stone the Crows Festival Join the gathering of the flock (pun intended) this Easter at Wagga Wagga’s annual Stone the Crows Festival. Featuring Lucky Starr, Rodney Vincent and Jamie Way with the Dominos Pizzarotti Show, along with veteran entertainers and chief crows Jim Haynes and Grant Luhrs, ent t i visitors can bring their motorhomes, caravans, campervans or trailers to the week-long event. With a range of activities from poetry and verse workshops to line dancing and craft sessions on offer, there’s something fun and exciting for everyone, making this a popular grey nomad event.

March 2–28 (QLD)

Easter Vintage Festival Experience rural life in the Australian pioneer days at Highfields, just north of Toowoomba, with the Easter Vintage Festival. The event will follow the theme, Romancing the Swag, as a special tribute to the swaggies, sundowners, bushrangers, drifters, and the walkabouts who made the 8

Whether you’re an opera aficionado or a complete novice, the Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour is a unique event that is worth a trip to Sydney. The 2016 season will present Puccini’s epic fantasy, Turandot. The story presents a beautiful and brutal princess who challenges her many admirers to answer three riddles on pain of death. Apart from this amazing show, patrons can bask in the the sea breeze off the harbour while taking in the stunning backdrop of Sydney’s skyline, stars and moon.

best of the hard times of the 1900s. Don’t miss the spectacular grand parade, and the chance to learn how to milk a cow, crack a whip or be a blacksmith.

March 31 – April 3 (QLD)

Cully Fest In celebration of the traditions of the outback’s rich and colourful culture, Cunnamulla’s Cully Fest is a down-to-earth gathering where artists inspire community spirit by sharing their talent and skills. Running over four days, you’re invited to this one-of-a-kind outback Easter adventure where you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in Aboriginal culture like never before. From Australia’s best musicians and art performance workshops to learning to cook an emu and seeing how a didgeridoo is made, this event is one of the highlights of the year.

don't miss ... March – APRIL (QLD)

Grammar Girl for a Day or Week Girls can experience the boarding school lifestyle by immersing themselves in classes, sports and discovering the facilities and resources available at the Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School by attending the Grammar Girl for a Day or Week event. Through March and April during term time, girls are invited to visit the school’s Ipswich campus for an overnight or five-day stay. This program is a great way for potential students and their families to discover the ins and outs of boarding school life before making a long-term commitment.

April 22–25 (NT)

Tjungu Festival This year will see some of the most popular artists and ambassadors come back for the Tjungu Festival. A celebration of Australian indigenous culture, the annual event will be held at the Ayers Rock Resort for the third time. Tjungu means meeting together in local Anangu language, and this year the event will focus on local performers from the Anangu people and the surrounding lands. The event highlights include dance performances, lively interactive markets, a short film festival, a fashion parade and more.

April 2 (QLD)

Dust ’n’ Gold Rodeo Charters Towers is indisputably the centre of rodeo in the north and has a long and interesting history with the sport. The Dust ’n’ Gold Rodeo will be the opening of the 2016 rodeo season and will see open, junior and novice competitors from across Queensland compete in an array of rough stock and timed events. This particular event will add valuable points to competitor tallies to contest the finals at zone and national level later in the year. So get your cowboy hat on and visit this thrilling country event.

April 9-10 (National)

Garden RELEAF Garden centres all over Australia will see different events full of fun over the second weekend in April. After a highly successful launch in 2015, RELEAF is about encouraging people to garden in order to have fun, destress their life and get healthy. This year’s event will raise funds for beyondblue, a charity that helps raise awareness of anxiety and depression. On behalf of the organisation, something blue will be the theme, with a wide range of blue plants available in stores, and garden-centre 10

staff and visitors are encouraged to wear blue clothing.

April 2 (S A)

Barossa Airshow Watch on as three of Australia’s top aerobatic champions take to the sky at the Barossa Airshow and display moves that will amaze you. Taking place in the wine region of the Barossa Valley, there will be plenty to see and do including vintage aircrafts on display, helicopter rides, art and craft stalls, side shows and, of course, food and wine.

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: The Barossa Airshow; Garden RELEAF supports beyondblue; the Dust ’n’ Gold Rodeo; Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School; the Tjungu Festival.

Let us know about your forthcoming events by writing to us at Locked Bag 154, North Ryde, NSW 1670 or emailing kmckenzie

too m .au

things we love 1


BAKER'S DOZEN It’s a jungle out there, so make sure you’re prepared with these sophisticated safariinspired homewares and accessories.

3 4

Compiled by Daria Kurilo

5 1 Safari cookie cutter for 3D cookies, $15.75, 2 Carved elephant keepsake box, $29.95, 3 La Cafeína Gold Leopardo takeaway coffee cup holder, $39, 4 Black & white zebra print hammock, $250, 5 Garcia clutch in silver leopard print, $179, 6 Lucello cowhide leopard bench, $1879, laura-ashley.



things we love 7

9 8

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7 Crocodile chocolate indoor/ outdoor cushion, $52, 8 Fore Armed bracelet, $28, 9 ZĂźny hippo, $40.50, 10 Yoga monkeys, $32.95, 11 Cape Lodge collection giclĂŠe print with faux bamboo frame, $770, 12 Elephant mug, $35.40, 13 MyCrib Savannah beanbag, $64.95,



A passion for paint By doing what they love, interiors stylist Helen King and her conductor husband, Adrian, have successfully transposed their lives from the UK to sunny Queensland. By K ir st y McKenzie, photography Anas tasi a K ariof yllidis Helen King answers the phone with a chirpy “French & Gorgeous” followed by a slight pause and a deep chuckle. “Actually I’m neither,” she admits, “but I wish I were.” As the creator of a destination homewares store by that name in the Sunshine Coast hinterland village of Cooroy, Helen is, however, responsible for introducing gorgeous French things to the homes of both locals and visitors. For the past decade Helen has been building a business based around her flair for interior design, French provincial style, love of vintage pieces and antique furniture and passion for chalk paint, in particular the work of the English queen of the painted finish, Annie Sloan. In doing so, she is repeating a pattern established in her native England, where she started small and developed a business that eventually filled the vast expanse of a repurposed car showroom. “There was nothing in my background to lead me to interior design,” Helen explains. “I grew up in the industrial seaport of Grimsby in a very working class family of five girls and I don’t think we even knew that such a profession existed. But I was always inspired by beautiful things and even from a young age I loved rearranging things to make pleasing vignettes.” Helen met Adrian, her music conductor husband of 43

CLOCKWISE FROM OPPOSITE: Helen King’s love of the French provincial style and vintage pieces is reflected in her business; she is a keen advocate of Annie Sloan’s chalk paint; she has a great eye for a vignette; tending the plants at home on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.





THESE PAGES: Chalk paint and distressed finishes are Helen’s great loves and examples can be found throughout her home at Buddina.

years, on the tennis court at the age of 16. Two years later they were married and daughters Louise and Sarah came along in 1975 and 77. “In the early days I did office work,” Helen recalls. “But my friends knew I loved arranging things so I started out making curtains for them and helping them style their homes. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising and by 1985 I had enough clients and a small amount of money to open a studio in a former butcher’s shop. It just grew from there and I kept moving premises as things improved until I had a very successful business.” With the success came the wherewithal to buy the house of her dreams, a beautiful old police station and courthouse in Lincoln. Finally Helen could live out her own fantasies rather than other people’s, and she and Adrian worked on the property for six years realising her aspirations. However fate, or cupid, intervened when both her daughters married Australians and moved to Queensland to live. “We adored that house,” Helen says. “But at the end of the day it was just bricks and mortar and we wanted to see our grandchildren grow up.” After two years of battling bureaucracy the Kings were eventually granted visas and they moved to Australia in 2006. “I could part with the house, but I couldn’t bear to leave any of my furniture behind, so we packed up this massive container and shipped it all out.”





The most treasured pieces found their way into their new home at Buddina, near Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast. “The house is close to Point Cartwright, which is a beautiful spot where the prawn trawlers come in to unload,” Helen says. “It reminds me a bit of Grimsby. But apart from the location, we were attracted by the fact that it has a studio, which allowed me to start working again doing up old furniture.” With rest of the Kings’ considerable collection of furniture in storage or the studio, Helen had a starting point for developing a new business. Once more, she started small, with a stall in a precinct at Maleny in the Blackall Ranges, then a couple of rooms in an antiques shop and finally a shopfront of her own. Finally the space in Cooroy she had been eyeing off for years became available, and Helen had no hesitation moving premises once again. Since she set out the French & Gorgeous shingle just over a year ago, she hasn’t looked back. “We’ve evolved a bit from a homewares shop into a lifestyle destination,” she explains. “I still have lots of furniture restored with chalk paint and I do workshops a couple of times a month to teach people how to do their own pieces. But as well as that I have homewares and soft furnishings and fashion labels including Lazybones and Walnut and Saltwater shoes. I think a lot of the appeal

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: THE Greenery shades the house; Helen likes to repurpose old wares; Helen and Adrian, her husband of 43 years; the adjacent studio; a cool spot for relaxing on the verandah.



THESE PAGES: Helen believes you can’t beat the combined effect of nature and age. She shows her customers how to enhance their own pieces at workshops at her shop in Cooroy, French & Gorgeous.


of the shop is that I now have space to set up roomscapes. I love bringing old galvanised troughs and buckets inside and setting them on an elegant table, for example. The more distressed the better as far as I’m concerned. You can’t beat the combined effect of nature and age. I think I’m really lucky that people here get my look and many of my customers have become really close friends.” The ‘Sunny Coast’ has been similarly kind to Adrian, who gave up his job as a musical director of a choir school to make the big move from the UK. He’s also found his niche and juggles roles as conductor for the Sunshine Coast Choral Society, the Noosa Chorale and the Sunshine Coast Orchestra. “Australia has been wonderfully welcoming to us and we think we are extremely lucky,” Helen says. “Of course I miss my four sisters because we are a very close family. And I love old buildings and architecture and gardens, and visiting National Trust properties was a big part of our life in England so I miss that. I certainly don’t miss the cold and the dark, wet days. I just feel incredibly privileged to be here and that we are both able to earn our living by following our passions. If I want a bit of history I can always go back to the UK for a holiday or head to Sydney or Melbourne for a short break.”


love this look

Large off-white ceramic jug, $50,

Rogue Calla Lily tub vase, $299.95,

Small vintage bronze frame, $13,

Inspired by... French provincial style, vintage pieces and antique furniture are Helen King’s passions. Compiled by Daria Kurilo

Marina round dining table, POA, xavierfurniture.

Imperial bamboo wall sconce, POA,

Rocco candle holder with glass, $79.95,

Iron Bridge buffet, $1870,

Classical white display on Bombe chest, $2009, sweetpeaandwillow. com

Teddy bear, $29.95,

Lime green jug, $51.50,



Paddock to plate A career in catering has taken Brigid Kennedy from the high seas to the Southern Highlands of NSW. But her heart has never strayed far from the farm where she spent her childhood. By K ir st y McKenzie, photography Ken Br as s

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: The Loch’s farm stall sells whatever is in surplus from the garden; the property is surrounded by hundreds of lavender bushes; rhubarb and rainbow chard.


By her own account, New Zealand-born caterer Brigid Kennedy gained her first job picking raspberries at the age of 10 and has been “full throttle” ever since. “Growing up in the Taranaki region of the North Island in the 1970s, we knew about hard work,” she says. “Britain had entered the EU [European Union], so suddenly the demand for New Zealand butter and lamb just disappeared. They were tough times for farmers all over the country. My mother went back to working as a nurse and we all had to help out on the farm. I wanted a bike, and there was no way I was getting one without earning the money to pay for it myself.”

There may not have been much fruit on the sideboard, but there was always plenty of food on the table. Brigid recalls growing up in a family of cooks and gardeners. “My nanna was a top notch CWA baker,” she says. “She was known for her rum balls and Louise cake. Mum was more of a savoury person and she never served fewer than five vegetables with a meal. Dad was always tending the vegies as we had a five-acre market garden on the farm and of course we had our own chickens and ate our own beef. Like most farm kids I learned very early on to divorce myself from the fact that my pet lamb was destined to end up on the plate.” Brigid progressed from raspberries to picking kiwifruit and strawberries, and by the time she left school she had saved enough to buy a ticket to Australia. She went to Queensland and gained her first job in hospitality. “Actually I had three jobs,” she recalls. “I’d worked out that I wanted to go to Le Cordon Bleu in London so I waited tables, worked in a cafe and in a five-star hotel.” She achieved that goal in 1984 when she completed the year-long diploma course. She recalls that the experience was indeed blue ribbon training, and says she was lucky to be singled out from the rest of her class comprised mainly of aristocratic offspring. “I think they recognised my determination,” she says. “I was often called upon to bake cakes for events when they had important visitors.”




CLOCKWISE FROM RIGHT: Brigid loves planning a menu straight from the garden; fresh freerange eggs; the vegies are thriving in raised beds; Brigid and Kevin have an antiques barn with accommodation above in the farm’s original stables.


From there Brigid headed to the French Alps for a season working in ski lodges and then spent a year working as a chef on private yachts in the Mediterranean. “It was great fun and I loved the life,” she says. “You really learned about seasonality when you were visiting little ports that had absolutely no imported food and you had to learn to make the most of whatever came from their gardens and orchards. Eventually I got a job on a yacht that was sailing the Atlantic and I ended up in Brazil. The owners had just left the boat and the crew were staying on to do repairs and maintenance when we were hijacked by bandits. It was a pretty traumatic experience and we all genuinely feared for our lives for a while. They took one of our crew hostage and although he was eventually released, it kind of took the lustre off life on the high seas.” She headed back to London and the relative safety of boardroom catering, then used the funds she’d saved from cruising to further her skills by studying pastry and seafood at La Varenne cooking school in Paris. Returning to Sydney in 1989, she took strategic positions with various caterers, always with an eye to opening her own business. Hard work and long hours were the norm and Brigid also used this time to put a toe in the water of starting her own catering




CLOCKWISE FROM RIGHT: The Sunday stall sells everything from citrus to lettuce; Brigid also makes cakes and savoury snacks for picnickers; flowers for sale; accomodation above the furniture barn; farm-fresh produce inspires cooks.


outfit by selling cakes at Glebe markets. “It became the norm for me to put in a full day at work then go home and bake till three or four in the morning,” she recalls. “There was no other way to get the volume of cakes I needed for the stall on the weekends.” By 1995 she felt ready to take the plunge into self employment and started Simmer Catering. “Of course it was hard work,” she recalls. ‘‘But it didn’t feel like it because I was doing what I loved. The early 2000s proved challenging, however, as finding reliable venues was becoming more and more difficult. So in 2005 I really went out on a limb and bought my own place. I did it with 110 per cent finance, which you just couldn’t do today. But I had a good client base, and I’d found a great waterfront location at Walsh Bay with its own jetty, close to the city, with lots of parking. I certainly couldn’t afford a lull of any sort, but I had a lot of positives to make it work.” And make it work she has, with her no-rest-for-thewicked work ethic, devotion to fresh produce and ability to constantly keep an eye out for the next big thing. The lure of the land has never been far away, and in between running the business and constant cooking, Brigid found time to

buy a farm at Joadja in the Southern Highlands and run it in conjunction with her father, who relocated from New Zealand in 1995. “Dad taught me many things,” she says. “Sadly he passed away last year and he is sadly missed. But his legacy lives on in my latest project, The Loch, which is a business I have established with my husband, Kevin Nott.” The Loch is a 100-acre (40-hectare) farm near Berrima where Brigid and Kevin run their horses, Angus cattle and are planning the next phase of their surprisingly synchronous careers. Kevin also grew up on a farm, started life as a shearer and, at different times, has run his father’s antiques shop and worked as a landscaper and a bar manager. He is also a dab hand at furniture restoration. “I’ve always loved antiques,” Brigid says. “My father trained racehorses in New Zealand so we grew up around the racetrack. Whenever Mum had a win at the races, she would spend it on a piece of furniture.” So in 2011 when they bought The Loch, which is named for the five-acre dam on the property, and had an old stable building on it, their initial thought was to turn it into a lodge for the horsey fraternity to holiday in. They built elegant self-catering accommodation for eight guests above the




CLOCKWISE FROM RIGHT: A preserving pan repurposed as a bathroom basin; living room vignette; open-plan living space above the barn; The Loch offers four double guest rooms.


stables and set about establishing a huge orchard and kitchen garden so Brigid could satisfy her desire to keep a connection with the land and also provide home produce for their guests. “It turned out that people attending equestrian events preferred to camp in their trucks,” she says. “So we opened the guest house up to weekend and short break visitors and gradually Kevin moved his furniture restoration into the stables.” It was only a matter of time before the garden started delivering more produce than Brigid and Kevin and their guests could ever hope to consume, so Brigid hit on the idea of opening a farmgate produce stall on Sundays. These days she divides her time between Simmer on the Bay during the week and The Loch on weekends. “I’m a collaborator by nature,” she observes. “I’ve been head of the Walsh Bay Chamber of Commerce for eight years and I know from that experience that you achieve a lot more when you get a community involved. So I came up with the idea of showcasing other local producers’ wares on our produce stall and also developing a food trail through the area so visitors can actually go and visit the farms one weekend every month.”




CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Kevin Nott restores furniture on the farm; Angus cattle graze by the dam; young visitors learn where food comes from.


Visitors to The Loch get to sample the produce of the region through tasting plates served in the garden. Brigid spends her weekends making jams, preserves and pickles as well as cakes and savoury snacks for picnickers made using the farm produce. She also offers slow-cooked packaged meals, raw produce for cooks to take home, and sells flowers from the garden. “As well as fruit and veg we use our own lamb, beef and eggs,” Brigid says. “We’ve pretty much got all the food groups covered. If I could just catch a fish I could add trout from our dam to that list. But as it is I have to wait for fly fishers to come and do it for me. ‘‘I love the complete cycle that we have down here. We grow it and then I cook what we grow. It feels very right. Eventually I hope to move down here permanently. It would be lovely to see a locavore restaurant develop from this. Meanwhile, it feels good to be laying the foundations for the next decade or so.” For more information on The Loch farm visit For details on the food trail go to southernhighlandsfoodandwineclusters.


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Haven in the Hills Interiors stylist Evelyn Neis has battled all sorts of adversity to forge a rich life for herself and her six children in the Adelaide Hills. By K ir st y McKenzie, photography Ross Williams, st yl ing by Br onte Camill eri


MY PLACE IN THE COUNTRY Evelyn Neis says she followed the real estate agent’s advice of buying the worst house in the best street when she moved from Adelaide to Heathfield near Stirling in the Adelaide Hills seven years ago. “It truly was the most ugly 1970s house,” Evelyn recalls. “But it was on two acres and had two big storage sheds which I now use as studios for doing up furniture. And I could see the potential. So I set to work on it, removing all the aluminium windows, installing French doors, laying polished floorboards and adding a big wrap-around balcony.’’ German-born Evelyn studied psychology in her home city of Munich and worked for the Goethe Institute all over Europe before migrating to Australia in 1972. She lived initially in Melbourne, but discovered Adelaide on holidays and moved there shortly after. “I was very happy there, but I always loved the feeling of the Hills,” she says. “I guess it reminded me of Europe and I loved the sense of community and village atmosphere that the towns offered. So I was very keen to move up here.” When Evelyn’s husband passed away 19 years ago, she was left to raise her six children on her own. “I’d been a fashion designer, mainly creating garments from vintage fabrics, antique lace and old doilies,” she says. “But when I had to support my young family — four of my children were under 10 — on my own I had to find something more secure, so I turned to property developing. I found I had a knack for styling interiors and so my career took a new direction.”

CLOCKWISE FROM OPPOSITE: Espaliered greenery frames antique doors at the entrance; Evelyn relaxes on the deck of her Adelaide Hills home; a wraparound balcony is a feature of the home; she calls the mounted stags’ heads her ‘‘babies’’.




MY PLACE IN THE COUNTRY Along the way, Evelyn also developed an antiques business and devoted many hours to restoring furniture and giving it new life with painted finishes. The gods, however, were not on her side in 2006, when she underwent hip resurfacing surgery, which went horribly wrong. “I try not to focus on the negatives, but I have been in constant pain ever since,” she admits. “I had my family to look after so I sold my antiques business. Six operations later I have decided it is better to work through the pain. You can be in pain and doing nothing or in pain and doing something so I decided I might as well do something.” That ‘‘something’’ turned out to be furniture restoration, giving old but well made pieces a new lease on life with painted finishes and reselling it to an appreciative market. Evelyn hosts a monthly open house when friends and prospective customers are invited to drop by. With so many liking what they see, she has developed an interiors styling business as an adjunct. “There are no show pieces in my home,” she says. “Everything is there to be used and if you can’t sit on it, or put a glass, or perhaps a decorator item on it, it has no place in my house. I never want to have to say to someone ‘be careful’ or ‘don’t touch’. This is a house for entertaining and enjoying.” Evelyn’s other guiding principle is that every room

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Evelyn says if it’s dull or dark, it needs a coat of paint; the kitchen overlooks the open living and dining area, which makes the space ideal for parties.




MY PLACE IN THE COUNTRY should surprise. “I don’t like anything matching,” she adds. “I do love white and if anything stands still I’ll put a coat of paint on it. As far as I’m concerned if it’s dull and dark, it needs paint. But I love rust. All my cast-iron pieces go in the garden until they have the weathered look. A piece of furniture should tell a story and give a sense of history.” To this rustic French ambience, Evelyn has added her “babies”, six mounted stags’ heads at last count. “I know I’ve gone a bit overboard with them,” she admits. “I guess it’s the German coming out in me.” In spite of all her trials and tribulations, Evelyn calls herself lucky. “I’ve built a gorgeous haven in the Hills and four of my children are still living with me,” she says. “It’s a Bohemian kind of lifestyle with people, their partners and friends coming and going, and my kids are very supportive when I need help. I’ve built a successful business doing what comes naturally. But really the money is secondary if you are doing what you love. Yes, I think I am very fortunate.”


CLOCKWISE FROM THIS IMAGE: Bedroom opulence; cupids and lots of gold add a rococo ambience; an example of Evelyn’s restored furniture; she likes to entertain outdoors; monchrome in the bathroom.

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a purl

of a yarn

Victorian farmer Cheryl Crosbie believes she is Australia’s only breeder of Gotland sheep. The curly fleece yields a wonderfully soft yarn that is world-renowned by spinners and felters. By K ir st y McKenzie, photography Ken Br as s When Cheryl Crosbie announced she was retiring after a long career as a nurse many of her colleagues confidently predicted she would be back on the ward before the year was out. What they didn’t know was that Cheryl had meticulously planned the next stage of her life and going back to the wards has never even crossed her mind. Cheryl has lived most of her life in the Strathbogie Ranges of central Victoria. She grew up on a sheep farm and as a youngster earned pocket money by working in shearing 42

sheds around the district. Then she went nursing and pretty much put her farm life behind her. However, she always loved the great outdoors and the first step towards her post-nursing life began when she and her husband, Warren, bought a 300-acre (120-hectare) lifestyle block. “I was always a keen bushwalker,” she explains. “So having our very own property to explore was very exciting. I’d heard about training llamas to trek some years previously, so I bought some and started training them to carry a pack. Basically, it’s a great way of trekking without the walkers


having to carry packs and other camping paraphernalia.” Because llamas grow long hair and need to be shorn annually, Cheryl found she had loads of llama fibre to offload. “The yarn is popular with spinners,” she explains. “So I taught myself to spin and suddenly found myself involved in a whole new creative world of spinning and crafting with the yarn.” Meanwhile, Cheryl and Warren, who owned a small earth moving business in Euroa, cast around for a means of generating an income with minimal impact on their land. “I found out about Gotland sheep from the spinners’ network,” she recalls. “They are a breed developed from the Gutes, the native landrace of the Swedish island of Gotland, which is in the Baltic Sea. Their fleece is lustrous and soft and comes in all shades of grey, from silver and charcoal to almost black. Merino breeders say you have to have a low micron for a soft handle, but Gotland can go to 20 or 30 microns and still be beautifully soft and that’s what’s attractive to spinners. The clearly defined, even curl, which is called the purl, is a

distinctive hallmark and that also l makes k s the pelts attractive.” While the Gotland is an obscure breed, because the fibre is spun “in the grease”, that is, untreated to preserve the natural lanolin, it is also water resistant, making a fabric ideal for people who work outdoors, particularly in damp and misty environments. The pelts are particularly prized for use as rugs, cushions and liners for baby bassinets and prams. As quarantine laws forbid the importation of live sheep, Cheryl used artificial insemination to bring the breed to Australia. Gradually she has bred her flock up to the present population of 315. “We manage them as holistically as possible,” she says. “Warren uses a no-till seeding drill for pasture improvement. He keeps the property beautifully having dug up all the surface rocks to build our house and various stone walls around the grounds. We always have enough feed because we never overstock and we double feed with mineral block year round to ensure the stock maintain condition.” Chemical use is kept to an absolute minimum and

THESE PAGES: As far as Cheryl can establish she is Australia’s only breeder of Gotland sheep, which evolved from the Gutes, a landrace from an island in the Baltic Sea off the Swedish coast.



THIS PAGE: The Gotland fleece is characterised by an even curl (called a purl) and the soft, lustrous yarn is prized by spinners and felters.


the Crosbies don’t drench unless samples indicate it is necessary. Although received wisdom has it that the only way to remove vegetable matter from the fleece is with chemicals, Cheryl says she avoids the need by ensuring the sheep are always shorn before the grass turns to seed. “Gotlands are a breed apart,” she observes. “Warren doesn’t like sheep, but he makes an exception for our Gotlands. They are friendly and easy to tame. Whereas most other sheep instinctively run away when you approach them, Gotlands come up to you. They are a bit of a problem to muster as they want to lead rather than be herded, but overall I’m of the opinion that it’s much better to have quiet stock than crazies.” While Cheryl says she intends to diversify into the meat market when her flock is larger, for now she sells most of her product online. However, she’s mindful of the need to keep connected with her market and hosts open days on the farm. “It’s a good way to keep my clients informed

about the way we farm f and nd what we are trying to achieve,” she says. “People, particularly crafters, like to know the backstory. But having people come to the farm is also important for me in terms of the feedback they give and new directions I might head in.’’ Although Cheryl initially intended to produce only purebred Gotlands, she has found that a greater range of colours, including whites and browns, can be achieved through cross-breeding. “I’m always trying to come up with new ways to keep the spinners and felters interested,” she says. “I’ve also introduced a limited range of dyed yarn in response to the demand for it. “I have to admit I’m having a ball. I feel I’ve found the perfect combination of learning new skills and working in an area that I know very well. It’s a completely different life to nursing, and I haven’t for an instant regretted moving on.” For more information on Gotlands visit Cheryl’s website,

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A spirited revival The Jimenez family is breathing new life into the isolated ghost town of Joadja in the NSW Southern Highlands. By K ir st y McKenzie, photography Ken Br as s

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Valero Jimenez noses his developing single malt; Joadja has a long Scottish connection; the whisky ages in sherry butts; Joadja preserves a significant slice of Australia’s industrial heritage.


The sage who coined the notion that getting there is half the adventure could well have been thinking of the ghost town of Joadja in the NSW Southern Highlands. It may only be 22 kilometres from Mittagong, but the route feels much more remote. First we travel through lush farming land on Wombeyan Caves Road, then turn into Joadja Road, and the farms are further apart and dwellings more sparsely scattered. Finally, just when we think we must have missed the turnoff or taken a wrong turn, there’s a sign announcing Joadja’s private road. We turn right over a cattle grid onto a dirt road and head down, down, down into a rugged valley. Finally, just when we think we must be headed for the ends of the earth we encounter the ruins of the Joadja school. We have arrived at the town of Joadja, permanent population four, all of them members of the Jimenez family. It wasn’t always so. In its heyday in the 1880s and ’90s, Joadja was a thriving mining town, with more than 1300 miners and their families living and working in the valley.

Joadja’s European settlement dates back to the 1850s, when farmer Ed Carter, who was running cattle in the valley, observed the local Aboriginal people using the shiny black rocks to carry fire. He registered a shale oil mining lease and was joined by George Larkin, John de Villiers Lamb and William Brown, who were mining shale oil by the 1870s. They built a zigzag path up out of the valley and initially used bullock teams and drays for the arduous journey to the railhead at Mittagong. In 1877 Lamb took the pivotal decision to build retorts and a refinery on site rather than railing all the ore to Sydney for processing. He was also instrumental in the construction of an incline and a 14-mile (22km) narrow gauge line that allowed a steam engine to haul the cargo the 784 metres out of the valley and to Mittagong. The following year Lamb bought out Carter and Brown, and took on other partners to form what would become the Australian Kerosene Oil and Mineral Company (AKO). Joadja became a private town owned by the company and the location of one of the greatest social experiments in 19th-century Australia. AKO soon realised there was a distinct lack of expertise in shale oil mining in NSW




so the decision was taken to import labour from Scotland. The company also took the bold move of insisting that the men bring their wives and children with them. So from its inception, Joadja was a town with more than 90 per cent of its population Scottish Presbyterian. The school was one of the first buildings to go up and soon earned a reputation as the most magnificent building in the valley. An imposing School of Arts building, often referred to as the church although it was never consecrated, followed, becoming the centre of the town’s social activities and the home of the first Masonic Lodge in the Southern Highlands. It was often remarked that the miners’ houses, especially the two dozen brick houses in Carrington Row, were much more spacious that those in the Lothian region of the Scottish lowlands that the miners had left behind. The community was prosperous and pretty much self-sufficient with ash from the wood-fired retorts (ovens) used to fertilise the 6700 trees in the orchard. All this progress and prosperity ground to a shattering halt in 1905 however, when a bushfire raged through the valley razing everything but the orchard and the orchard owner’s house. AKO struggled on as a commercial orchard and market garden until 1911, when it was sold to a Sydney fruit merchant. In 1925 the property was again sold, this time to Harry Snodgrass, who returned it to its grazing origins and sold off much of the mining machinery and rolling stock. 48

“Its construction had been supervised by the Australian godfather of single malt whisky, Bill Lark, and he encouraged us to start making whisky rather than employ someone to do it for us.” Through the ensuing decades Joadja passed through various hands and thanks to its relative isolation, the buildings were left to time and the elements. By 2002 when engineer, builder and developer Valero Jimenez, his wife, Elisa, and their children, Emily and David, visited Joadja as tourists, it was a ghost town. “It wasn’t until 2011, when I heard Joadja was changing hands, that I went to meet the owners with a view to camping on the property,” Valero says. “Almost before I knew it I was signing a contract and we became the new owners.” Initially, the Jimenez family had no intention of moving to Joadja, but they were intrigued by the fact that a whisky disillery had been built on the property. “Its construction had been supervised by the Australian godfather of single malt whisky, Bill Lark, and he encouraged us to start

CLOCKWISE FROM OPPOSITE: The brick cottages of Carrington Row framed by robinias; Elisa with the sherry they import in barrels from Spain; Tasmanian whisky guru Bill Lark supervised the distillery installation; retort from the shale oil days; a wee dram or two in the making.




making whisky rather than employ someone to do it for us. Somewhere between 70 and 80 per cent of the flavour of a malt whisky comes from the butt, or barrel, particularly barrels that have been used to store sherry. Sherry is produced in a part of Andalusia in the south of Spain and it just so happens that Elisa was born in Jerez and I came from Malaga. One of the sweetest sherries is Pedro Ximenez. Our surname is Jimenez, so there seemed to be a lot things suggesting we should become distillers. The next thing we knew Elisa was in Spain sourcing barrels and I was in Tasmania learning everything I could at the Lark Distillery.” Since then, the whole family has become involved, with 23-year-old Emily, who has business qualifications and has spent time in distilleries in Scotland, taking over the management of the distillery and the tourism side of the operation, and 22-year-old David, who is completing a double degree in computing science and mechatronics, assuming the role of head distiller and lending his nose in the distillery. Elisa remains, as always, the anchor of the family, helping with property interests in Sydney and fulfilling all hospitality roles from barbecue cook and barista to cleaner, chief cook and bottle washer for the visitors who come to tour the distillery and ghost town. “Making whisky is simple enough,” Valero observes. “You make the wash, which is basically flat beer, using barley, yeast and water. For the starch in the barley to be released so it can convert to alcohol, it has to be germinated by soaking it in water for a couple of days.” This process, which is called malting, is then halted by drying it in a kiln that is traditionally fired by peat. That is what imparts the smoky character that is prized in many whiskies. The malt is then put through a grist mill, turning it into a coarse flour that’s used to make the wash, which then goes through a double distillation process in a copper still. The complexity of 50

flavour comes from the butts, the quality of the water, the land the barley is grown on and the peaty character. Malt whiskies are then aged for anything from three to 25 years in the barrel. Because the Jimenez family has only taken over relatively recently, they don’t yet have any whisky to sell. However, they are optimistic that they will be launching their first product by the end of this year. “At Joadja we are lucky to have our own spring, which supplies excellent water,” Valero adds. “We have big plans for 2016, which include growing our own barley and possibly sourcing local peat from the Wingecarribee bog, which is the only peat source in NSW. If we achieve that we will be one of only three distilleries in the world that sources all three elements truly locally. And I’m sure that will make the ghosts of Joadja very happy.” . Joadja is open on selected Sundays and to group bookings throughout the year. For more information visit and

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Resident highland cattle continue the Scottish accent at Joadja; the School of Arts building was once the centre of a thriving community; relics of the mining days litter the landscape.



Fellow travellers Nathan and Jodie Overell have been to many amazing spots around the world and are now determined to introduce visitors to their own pocket of paradise in south-east Queensland. By K ir st y McKenzie, photography Ken Br as s

OUR PLACE IN THE COUNTRY The old saying that you should never overlook what’s in your backyard has proven prophetic for Nathan Overell and his wife, Jodie, who are raising their young family in the rich pastoral and dairying country known as the Lost World Valley of southeast Queensland. Nathan grew up in the spectacular hinterland region, which is bounded by mountains of the Scenic Rim, the wilderness of the Lamington National Park and has the upper reaches of the Albert River and Christmas Creek threading through the landscape. His schoolteacher parents, Sue and Rob, moved to jobs in Beaudesert in the 1970s and during the ensuing decades bought land in the Valley on which they established an olive grove and holiday accommodation with a cooking school. They called their home farm Worendo, the traditional owners’ name for the wild lime that grows abundantly in the rolling green paddocks, and made their base in the homestead that had been moved to the site from the Brisbane bayside suburb of Manly in the 1920s. Sue and Rob gradually turned the homestead into self-catering accommodation for up to 12 guests, added another wing that can accommodate five more guests and a cottage for two, which has a purposebuilt demonstration kitchen, and allowed Sue to further celebrate her passion for the region’s abundant local produce by opening the Wild Lime Cooking School.

Meanwhile Nathan travelled the world, first as a cameraman for QTV, taking him all over remote country Australia and then to Europe and the Middle East as a cameraman and editor for CNN. He returned to Brisbane where he established a tour company introducing visitors to the natural and scenic delights hidden behind the bright lights of the Gold Coast. Naturopath Jodie grew up in the NSW Hunter Valley and spent most of her 20s also travelling the world, living and working in Canada, the

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Nathan and Jodie with sons Ted, Aidan and Patrick; the Worendo homestead is a relocated Queenslander; the Albert River winds through the Lost World Valley.




OUR PLACE IN THE COUNTRY UK and Asia. They met when they were seated together at a mutual friend’s wedding. Jodie was about to head off to Borneo and Nathan had spent time there, so they had an instant connection. The rest, as they say, is history and Nathan and Jodie were soon happily living and running their business from Brisbane, while adding sons Aidan, now aged six, Patrick, four years, and two-year-old Ted to the family. Nathan’s sister, Sally, and her husband, Michael Undery, also live in the Valley, where they run Crebra Farmhouse, which can accommodate 14 guests on their dairy farm. “We weren’t really thinking of moving to the Valley until Mum and Dad stepped back from the business,” Nathan explains. “So in 2013, we decided to take over its management and moved down to live. It took a bit of getting used to as my office was a tractor shed and I had to drive the tractor to a spot on a hill that had mobile reception to access the internet. But the move has been a great one for our family. Aidan is one of 24 kids privileged to attend the local one-teacher school and the other boys will join him soon. We are all benefitting from the opportunity to be part of a tight-knit community that is proud of its attractions and keen to promote them.” Nathan adds that in the 1940s and ’50s the Valley may have supported 50 dairy farms and now only three or four survive. In their place, however, are a number of energetic newcomers and forward-thinking descendants of old

families, who are keen to turn the region into a weekend and foodie destination. Farmstays and guest cottages abound in the Valley and there’s plenty to keep visitors occupied with bushwalking, horse riding, farm tours, kayaking and river fishing among the many options. “We’re only 90 minutes’ drive from both Brisbane and the Gold Coast so we’re easy to access,” Nathan observes. “There are six national parks in the Scenic Rim region and the countryside is not just beautiful, it’s inspiring to a whole

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Sundowners in the Lost World Valley; blue notes in the kitchen at the homestead; combined sitting and dining area; a verandah invites relaxation; local caterer Kate Raymont takes classes in the cooking school.


OUR PLACE IN THE COUNTRY raft of creatives who have moved here to live. Plus we have great local produce, with avocados, rhubarb, citrus, carrots, the famous Beaudesert Blue pumpkin and a number of other vegetables grown locally. As well as dairying, the area is known for its beef production, crayfish farms, craft breweries and local wines so there’s plenty to inspire keen cooks.” All this largesse as well as native ingredients such as wild lime, lemon myrtle, warrigul greens, quandongs and bush tomatoes are celebrated in the cooking classes local caterer Kate Raymont conducts at the Wild Lime Cooking School. Participants join hands-on classes in a professionally equipped kitchen then sit down together to enjoy the results of their efforts over a glass or two of wine. The entire region comes together in winter with Eat Local Week culminating in the Winter Harvest Festival, which attracts up to 6000 visitors over a weekend. “Mum and Dad host jazz in their olive grove, Desley and Pietro Agnoletti of Classi di Cucina at Rathdowney set up a mobile pizza oven in a stone shed down by the river, local producers set up stalls and everyone comes for a big party,” Nathan says. “It really is a great showcase of everything this district excels at and it makes me proud to be part of the action and an ambassador for this region.”

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: The treehouse extension has two bedrooms while the homestead has four; a bedroom opens to the verandah to capture cooling breezes; a cosy sitting area in the main homestead.



W W W. H O U S E O F H O M E . C O M . AU


Wild & wonderful James Stein describes his garden in the NSW Blue Mountains as a constantly evolving artwork. By K ir st y McKenzie, photography Ken Br as s

THESE PAGES: James Stein is a born gardener and Mt Wilson in the NSW Blue Mountains is his haven. He bought Wildestein, a 12.5acre block, in 1989 and has turned it into his dream garden.

As antiques dealer and gardener James Stein recalls, the first time he visited Mt Wilson in the NSW Blue Mountains “every green finger started twitching”. About two weeks after arriving in Sydney from WA he brought his wife, Annemie, and son, also James, up for a look around. “I’d always been a gardener, and when we lived in Perth I used to spend weekends looking after my mother’s cottage garden at York,” he recalls. “But I was just bowled over by what I saw at Mount Wilson. It has the most wonderful volcanic soil, and because of the volcanic rock it’s perfectly drained. And we are blessed with water, both from the sky and the ground. We went down 40 metres and struck the most incredibly pure water.”

Bewitched as he was, it was only a matter of time before James found a property to buy. In 1989 the Steins bought Wildenstein on a 12.5-acre (5-hectare) block and James had a giant canvas on which to build his dreams. “We inherited good bones from the previous owners, who had been there for 21 years,” he recalls. “The garden is a splendid mix. The natives include centuries-old eucalypts and Dicksonia ferns, spotting waratahs, little orchids that attract pigmy possums, and banksia. To that had been





added exotics including sycamores, oaks, maples and conifers. I’ve actually culled hundreds of trees, because they were too close together. Tree maintenance is very important, especially of the eucalypts, because they provide the canopy under which everything else grows.” Continuing the art world metaphor, James describes his role in the garden as “layering complexity”. “I’m particularly interested in seeking out rare shrubs and ornamentals,” he says. “Like a painting that you work on over a long period, it keeps evolving. The great reward is it seems to get better every year.” Other improvements include hedging to create rooms within the garden, so visitors can discover sections and get lost in them if they choose. “I wanted to be able to hide in the garden,” he says. “I must confess I have done so on occasion. One day I might get around to linking the pathways, but for the moment I don’t want to restrict myself.” A rhododendron and Mollis azalea walk guarded by antique dogs of foe is a spring delight and is harlequin planted because James admits he couldn’t make up his mind which colour he liked best. It leads to a big meadow “just for gambolling” and for the Steins’ beloved bull mastiffs, Rocky and Apollo, to run and delight in. “Mount Wilson has many extraordinary gardens and many of them are a hundred years old,” James says. “Unfortunately though, you wouldn’t know you

THESE PAGES: Tree maintenance is very important and James has culled hundreds of trees to allow other vegetation to grow. There’s also a park-like expanse for James to exercise his two bull mastiffs.




were in the mountains because they are so enclosed. With this garden I have been mindful not to lose the amazing view that’s naturally framed by the eucalypts. I wanted to keep that wonderful feeling of openness to the sunshine and sky.” James has also created an oriental garden at the front of the homestead complete with cloud-pruned conifers, Meiji period Buddhist temple and several massive granite boulders that had to be craned on site. Existing ponds were drained and cleared and now support a resident population of Indian Runner ducks. Sculptures, including a Victorian copy of an ancient bronze discus thrower, an Apollo carved from sandstone from Donnybrook in WA and an antique Indian water jar add interest throughout. The entry drive is lined with 40 pots hand thrown by Hill End potter Lino Alvarez and several grottoes are a legacy of frequent travels to Italy. “I’m not a Catholic, but I do believe in the mother of the earth,” James says. “The Italians always put blue flowers with Mary and I find the hydrangeas are particularly useful for that purpose.” James adds that one his favourite aspects of the garden is its progress through the seasons. Autumn, of course, is spectacular, with the deciduous trees turning and the bark of the Sango Kaku (Japanese maple) turning coral and

THESE PAGES: The garden offers stunning views that are naturally framed by the eucalypts. James has also planted rows of conifers and hedges to create rooms within the grounds and has added sculpture to provide focal points.



the “starlet of the garden”, the Nyssa sylvatica, burning such an intense vermilion you need sunglasses to look at it. “Then the climbing hydrangea does its turn and as it goes to sleep the daphne comes on,” he says. “So there is always something in bloom. In early spring it’s daffodils and then peonies like multi-faceted gems, dahlias and bearded iris, which I always think of as the drag queen of flowers. Then summer has a burst and we start all over again.” James also comments on the extraordinary body of knowledge of the many other gardeners of Mt Wilson and nearby Mt Irvine.”It’s quite phenomenal,” he says. “You’d expect people to be quite competitive, but it’s just the opposite. In fact the only competition I’ve ever observed is at the local fair, when everyone enters their homemade preserves and jams. Keith Raines of Merry Garth has been extremely generous in sharing his horticultural expertise as have many others. The other thing is that it’s a very hospitable community. If you don’t know how to cook when you move up here you need to learn in a hurry, because there’s a lot of entertaining in each other’s homes.” James adds that he’s actually reached the stage of being “over travel” and is very happy these days for the world to come to him during open days in spring and autumn. “I’ve always got some new project on the books,” he says. “My son, James, and I work in the garden most days and we have a gardener come in to help two days a week, but the bulk of the work falls to us and I don’t like to leave for too long.” For information on openings visit 66

THIS PAGE: Sculptures, including a Victorian copy of an ancient bronze discus thrower, an Apollo, and an avenue of pots by Lino Alvarez add interest throughout the garden.

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Defying the odds Natasha Radford has been horse mad since she was eight years old. With a bit of luck and a lot of determination she is forging a career trackside. By K ir st y McKenzie, photography Ken Br as s & Jayme Mye rs

CLOCKWISE FROM RIGHT: Judging the Melbourne Cup is one of Natasha’s big career goals; saddling Boo for a ride; Natasha spends whatever spare time she has riding and competing in events.


When Victoria’s only female racing judge Natasha Radford turns up for work, she’s accustomed to people assuming she’s there to adjudicate the fashions of the field. While she has nothing against the trackside tradition of choosing the best-dressed race goers, her job involves the much more exacting and critical task of selecting the winners of each race on the day’s program. “Of course most racetracks have cameras recording a photo finish,” she explains. “But there has to be a human there to judge in case there is a mechanical failure. I have been at meetings when the camera hasn’t worked and

then it’s the judge’s responsibility to determine which horse passed the post first.” Given that somewhere between 10 to 24 horses cross the line in two seconds, it’s an incredibly demanding job. Repeat that 10 times on an average racing day and that means Natasha has to be able to identify up to 200 horses on any given race day. “I familiarise myself with the horses before each race,” she explains. “I go to the mounting yard and check the jockeys’ colours against the program. Then it’s just a matter of maintaining incredible focus for the duration of the race. Then I move on to the next race and do it all over again. I liken it to people who can do sudoku or other puzzles. You train your brain and eye to be able to concentrate on the task at hand. It probably took me six months to gain accuracy and of course you have to keep practising to keep your eye in.” In fact, Natasha has been preparing for this career for most of her 27 years. Pony mad from the age of eight, she recalls from about the same age attending race meetings with her grandparents, who always belonged to racing syndicates. Raised in Brisbane’s south-east, she learned to ride at pony club and riding schools. At the age of 12 she bought Bluey, a naughty blind-in-one-eye mount, and kept him on her grandparents’ farm at Beaudesert. From there she moved on to retired thoroughbreds at the age of 15 and refined her skills with eventing, show jumping and dressage.




“There are three or four judges who do all the meetings across the state and realistically there would only be two or three new positions likely to come up in my working life. ’’

ABOVE: Most weekends Natasha makes time to train or compete on Boo. OPPOSITE: Natasha and Boo participate in show jumping, dressage and eventing competitions.


However, it was towards golf rather than horse racing that Natasha set her early career sights. “I did a year of biomedical science out of high school and had dreams of being a pro golfer,” she recalls. ”But the reality was I was never really good enough. So I moved to Sydney where I worked at a stud part-time. Through a friend I was offered a job doing track work for trainers Bart Cummings and Graeme Rogerson, but that ended when EI [equine influenza] hit and staff were all cut back. So I worked as a polo club groom for a while but eventually realised I needed to get a proper job.” In part the need for more regular work and a reliable income was fuelled by the fact that in 2007 Natasha fell in love … with a horse called Boo. “I was riding at Centennial Park when I first saw him,” she recalls. “He had EI so he had a really nasty cough. But it was love at first sight, and I knew

I just had to buy him. So pretty much instantly I became responsible for getting him back to health.” The following year she gained a public service job in Canberra so she and Boo moved to the ACT. Through her then partner, who was riding trackwork at Canberra Racecourse, she gained an after-hours job supervising an equine swimming pool. “I was in the right place at the right time,” Natasha says. “I just happened to be on the radar when Canberra’s chief judge announced his retirement and I was offered a judging traineeship.” Fate again intervened when Natasha moved to Melbourne for work and she immediately started lobbying for a position with Racing Victoria. “Basically you have to wait for a judge to die or retire for new positions to come up,” she explains. “There are three or four judges who do all the meetings across the state and realistically there would only be two or three new positions come up in my working life. While I was waiting I kept my foot in the door, my eye in, and my ambitions obvious by travelling back to Canberra every weekend to judge there.” Needless to say, Natasha couldn’t believe her luck when Billy Quin, who had been Racing Victoria’s chief judge for 18 years, retired at the end of 2014. “Everyone moved up a notch and I was offered the opportunity of applying for the bottom rung,” she says. “I was so nervous when I




“If you consider that you can buy a country horse for $10,000, that means 20 people have only to find $500 each to form a syndicate.”

THIS PAGE: Natasha’s passion for all things equestrian is all consuming and has taken her to racecourses all over country Australia, the UK and France.


accompanied Paul Egan, the new chief judge, to a meeting at Seymour. He must have taken pity on me as I got the job.” These days most weekends will see Natasha packing her heels and binoculars and heading for meetings all over country Victoria. Although she is still working full-time, her long-term goal is for a career in the racing industry, and of course, the holy grail of judging a Melbourne Cup. Meantime, she still competes with Boo whenever her schedule permits and relishes daylight saving, which allows her more time to train with him at the facility where he’s stabled on Melbourne’s western fringes. Never one to let a chance go by, Natasha recently combined work with pleasure during a trip to the UK and Europe. With endorsement from the CEO of Racing Victoria, Bernard Saundry, she was given the opportunity to judge one of the world’s most prestigious hunt races, the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day. “I firmly believe

that if you don’t ask you can’t be refused so I applied to the British Horseracing Association for the opportunity,” she says. “I was going there on holiday and I love jumps racing but I never really expected to be given the opportunity. Even now it is over I can’t believe that I was allowed to fulfil yet another dream. There I was, an unknown girl from Australia judging a hugely prestigious event.” She also took advantage of the trip to take a tour through Newmarket with Women in Racing UK, visit the illustrious Godolphin stud, and gain privileged access to Chantilly racecourse north of Paris with Matthieu Vincent, the director of France Galop. Back home, Natasha continues her family tradition and total immersion in the sport of kings by becoming part owner of a country racehorse, Bel Tango. “I doubt if she’s going to make my fortune,” she observes. “In her first race she came last by 27 lengths. In her second race she was in third place out of nine horses until 400 metres when she just pulled up. But I guess you could say she’s improving, because she only came in 13 lengths behind.” Personal experience aside, Natasha says she would encourage anyone with a sense of fun to consider joining a syndicate. “If you consider that you can buy a country horse for $10,000, that means 20 people have only to find $500 each to form a syndicate,” she says. “For that investment you get to have a real interest in going to the races, make lots of new friends and have a great time. I think Michelle Payne’s success in the Melbourne Cup just goes to show that racing is a sport where women can, and do, excel. It’s been brilliant for me and I have every confidence that I will continue to love it and be around the track for many years to come.”

THE SHOP THAT TIME FORGOT Imagine... You’ve just walked through the doors of a department store... the year is 1925, what would you expect to see?

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achIEving the look

finishing touches Soft furnishings and lifestyle accessories that will give your interiors that home, sweet home sensation. Compiled by Daria Kurilo

Getting Comfy Gently does it. These soft furnishings set the scene for a welcoming home. ABOVE: The Alka Multi cushion is more than just a piece of décor – it’s a statement. A classic, this pillow will add a splash of colour to your sofa. BELOW: Empower yourself with this funky Colour Therapy doorstop by Splosh. We believe that every colour tells a story and slate represents stability and peacefulness. Splosh’s Colour Therapy

collection is sure to put you and your guests at ease. RIGHT: Made from embroidered linen, this boho-inspired Nomad pouf will make a cute addition to your living room. Available in orange, lime green, fuchsia pink and teal.

LEFT: Snuggle into the soft everyday luxury of this Herringbone throw by WAM Home Décor. Available in neutral tones and deep autumn hues, we’ve fallen head over heels for this company’s offerings. wamhomedecor.


RIGHT: Raw Décor’s latest collection draws on freshness and originality by bringing new life into the standard pillow, and the result is amazing.

achIEving the look BELOW: A wonderfully bright and warm way to fight those winter chills is with this giant throw by Annabel Trends. Made from polyester, the throw is lightweight and multipurpose, plus the luxe row of pompoms takes it to a whole new covetable level.

ABOVE: Rest your head in style with WAM’s latest collection of cushions. These boldly embroidered cushions are beautifully embellished on a cotton fabric and will make a great addition to your home’s interior. wamhomedecor. BELOW: Impress your guests with these beautifully embroidered Wanderer cushions by Muse. Available in

green, orange, pink and teal, add that final bright accent of style to your home. RIGHT: Feel like a queen or king on the throne with this sophisticated armchair by 1825 Interiors. Created in a quality, neutral fabric with a mix of polyester, rayon and linen, it not only looks great but feels great too.


achIEving the look

Clutter Busters Keep the clutter at bay and well stacked. TOP LEFT: These Shadow boxes are a great way of organising your belongings and adding a vintage and stylish feel. TOP RIGHT: A bedsidetable essential, is this bedsidetable itself. The Stacks stool by Uniqwa portrays a peaceful element and definitely makes it on our wish list. LEFT: As a simple statement of appreciation to the RIGHT: The Amalfi Alta trunks set is stylish in design and look with an elegant black and white pattern and will certainly add a statement to your room.

LEFT: PProudly LEFT dl display di l the fruits from your garden, or bread and butter, in this hand-woven oval basket by Our Kitchen Garden. Also works great as a knick-knack basket for keys, sunglasses and wallet. RIGHT: Fill this recycled timber bottle carrier with vintage vessels or display your favourite flowers. We love the country look and feel this carrier exudes. 78

hardworking people of the Sydney Market precinct, Jack Crick Wares has created the Charlie Chan produce box collection. BELOW: The Northern Rivers box grabs so much in its simplicity and can be used for a multitude of purposes. The inbuilt legs can make stacking a breeze and will look great as a rustic feature stacked on top of itself.

achIEving the look

ABOVE: The Vogue Copper Pink soy container candle makes a beautiful statement of luxury and elegance. Available in four different colours and scents, the candles are 100 per cent soy and handmade. BELOW: This hand carved creation has us weak at the knees with admiration. Designed with a whitewash finish it can easily be wall mounted or displayed on a stand.

Finishing Touches Make you room shine with these prints, candles and final touches. ABOVE: The romantic and feminine Lily collection is a favourite of ours. Where old world charm meets contemporary, the products in this collection have an antique

white-based finish with the corners carefully rubbed to reveal that shabby chic look. BELOW: A classic Scandinavian design, the

Marble and Leather vase available at House of Home, emits a contemporary and functional look with its sleek and unique style.

BELOW: With a lovely texture and organic feel, the Estella Verdelho round stone vases come in beautiful soft and neutral tones. Handmade in Vietnam from reconstituted stone, this product is available in a variety of colours and styles.

ABOVE: This curtain tie back has a beautiful and very lavish tassel made from thick strands of Ivory Cotton. The tassel is a wonderfully decorative piece, which will dress your curtains in an elegant style.


achIEving the look

ABOVE: L’ascari candles are handmade in Australia using twisted cotton wicks and eco-friendly, earthgrown soy beans. classicwithatwist. RIGHT: Get up close with the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge in this duck egg blue skyline print. Also available in ruby colour.

ABOVE: A mirror is a must for any living space and this striking Hermon Biba mirror is that of a work of art. Similar to the sun itself, this item exudes luxury and sophistication. RIGHT: Display your most treasured moments in this beautiful ceramic Dario photo frame. BELOW: Sleek and lavish, we adore the Reed diffuser and Goats’ Milk moisturiser from the Jsala soy candle range. The two products are a perfect combination for relaxing.

LEFT: The team at Villa Maison knows what makes a room look good. The Fleurs Flowers Fiori glass vase with white ribbon will make your favourite flowers stand out and the neutral tone will suit any design.


162 Bungaree Road, Pendle Hill NSW 2145 Phone: (02) 9896 0109 Email:

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Traditional restorers of cast iron baths in authentic Vitreous enamel Antique baths is the only company in Australia today restoring old cast iron baths and manufacturing using the traditional Vitreous (porcelain) enamel method, which has stood the test of time for over a century. The only company in Australia that can restore Heritage Listed cast iron items. With over twenty five years in the business, this family run company prides itself on the personalised and friendly service it offers and

on the quality of its product. Clients can choose from a huge selection of baths and basins, some dating back to the 19th Century, including the rare and unusual. Antique Baths have a wide range of clientele, ranging from families with small children that love to have toys while bathing, to celebrities and professional people, from Sydney to Perth, Darwin to Melbourne, and everywhere in between.

Drama queens Loreto Normanhurst school for girls on Sydney’s North Shore is a breeding ground for budding actors. By Mer yl Hancock THESE PAGES: Student Georgia McGinness performing different roles with her companions at Loreto Normanhurst School


Imagine studying the characteristics of an elderly man, his speech, his gait, his outlook, his interaction with peers, and then portraying that character on stage. It sounds frightening for any adult to contemplate but for Loreto Normanhurst’s all-female troupe, it’s simply a walk in the park. The 2015 HSC

drama cohort of 18 students produced outstanding results under the leadership of departmental head, Chris Woods. With the intensity of core Higher School Certificate (HSC) subjects such as maths and English requiring hours of independent study, the opportunity to include drama in an otherwise conventional portfolio of choice has huge appeal for many students. As a senior drama pupil at the school described her experience: “We play, we experiment, we fail in a safe way and therefore we learn; drama builds confidence, teaches us to collaborate, communicate and think critically”. With a roll of 1000 students, including more than 200 boarders, Loreto Normanhurst is an independent, Catholic, day and boarding school for girls in years five to 12, and is part of an international network of Loreto schools, seven of which are based in Australia. The founder of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto sisters), Mary Ward, was a devout Englishwoman who lived from 1585-1645 and believed that “women in time will come to do much”. She was progressive and liberal-minded and forged an active ministry to facilitate educational opportunities for girls, rivalling pathways available to boys of that time. At the foundation of the Loreto learning

spotlight on education

‘‘Drama students are courageous. They willingly face new challenges every day with joy, passion and commitment.’’

platform is FACE — faith, academic, community and extracurricular participation, rounding off a holistic approach to education. Established in 1897, Mary Ward’s values extend far and wide at Loreto Normanhurst. Set on 25 acres of lush land 30 kilometres from the CBD, the school is a city option with a distinctly rural flavour. Student Georgia McGinness, who doubled as school captain in 2015, gained a clear vision for a future in theatre as a result of her drama experience at Loreto. Georgia, who is from the NSW regional city of Dubbo, brought her own spice to the Loreto mix as a boarder. With a wealth of dance experience but no formal training in drama, she’s unclear where her dramatic gene comes from. “My parents think I’m adopted,” she says. “The drama department’s dedication to the art is absolutely incredible, and I wouldn’t have engaged with the subject so much if I hadn’t had such great teachers.” Department head Chris Woods believes drama enhances skills required of 21st-century learners. She admits that in a rapidly changing world, a teacher’s role is to provide students with the capacity to go forth, contribute creatively and respond to the big challenges that society faces. “Drama students are courageous” she says. “They willingly face new challenges every day with joy, passion and


spotlight on education

commitment. What more do you need for life? The drama cohort of 2015 celebrated each other’s gifts and acted with felicity and sincerity in the Loreto tradition.” A shining example of this was Georgia’s prestigious selection to OnSTAGE for her HSC drama Individual Project (IP) and also her Group Performance (GP). The NSW Board of Studies selected both her exemplary HSC pieces for showcasing at Sydney’s Seymour Centre in February this year. Georgia says deciding on her HSC pieces required thorough research and investigation. “For my IP, I shrank the cast of the Broadway play, 39 steps, from 140 to 10 characters in what could most easily be explained as a one-woman show,” she explains. “I found it fun to explore different characters conversing with one another.” The GP in which Georgia performed focused on the media-hot topic of legalising euthanasia in Australia’s ageing population. Each group writes, directs and performs its own unique work. Georgia’s delight in analysing black comedy as part of the coursework meant senior jokes would undoubtedly be integral to the script. She played aged care resident Harvey, while her two friends played the similarly elderly Irene and Muriel. In a complex plot starring homophone confusion with degenerating neurones taking a major role, the three friends battle the universe. “As the only subject that has group work in the entire HSC course, I found it incredibly valuable learning to cope with moments of tension, frustration and disagreement,” Georgia recalls. “Mrs Woods’ insistence that research is the face of any creative piece meant we spent a lot of time finding out 84

about conditions within retirement homes in Australia, as well as discussing euthanasia.” This year Georgia is moving to Sydney to follow her passion and will concentrate on building a substantial portfolio of theatre roles before applying for drama schools. “It has turned out that a fun hobby that I was introduced to by Loreto has become something I love,” she says. “Drama gets you up on your feet and forces you to engage in your learning. The adrenaline builds when you know the audience is being entertained and that engagement is what makes it special.”

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Georgia in her school uniform; an aerial view of Loreto Normanhurst’s expansive campus; the school is situated on Sydney’s North Shore.

pick of the crop Not many Australians would list the tamarillo in their top five favourite fruits. Perhaps sporadic supply and expense has hampered a groundswell of awareness of this versatile fruit. But once discovered, there is no going back. The tamarillo, like the feijoa, is a much-loved fruit in New Zealand, where both are grown for export as well as local consumption. It was known as the tree tomato until 1967, when it was renamed by the New Zealand Tree Tomato Promotions Council to create an image independent of the garden tomato, and reflect its exotic origins. A native of Peru, Ecuador, Chile and Bolivia, the tamarillo tree occurs naturally in the Andes at altitudes between 1000 and 3000 metres. It also grows in sub-tropical regions throughout the world, including Australia. Explanations of the new name claim a similarity to the word, tomato, the Spanish word, amarillo, meaning yellow, and a variation on the Maori word, tama for leadership. The fast-growing tamarillo tree, which grows to about five metres, produces red or yellow egg-shaped fruit that hang attractively in clusters under its large, somewhat pungent leaves. The fruit contain significant quantities of vitamin C, A, magnesium and iron, as well as fibre. Its tangy flesh has a sweet/sharp quality, which lends itself for use in both sweet and savoury recipes. The skin is inedible — the easiest way to eat a tamarillo is to cut one in half and scoop out the flesh with a teaspoon — but poaching, frying, roasting, grilling and jams and chutneys are also options. It can be blended with water and sugar to make a juice, or pureed. In Ecuador it is blended with chillies to make a hot sauce, aji, which is ubiquitous in that cuisine. Poached tamarillos add a piquancy to a warm poached winter fruit salad of quince, pear, lemon and plums. The resulting syrup, if reduced to a thick sticky consistency is an ambrosial sauce. Any excess should be frozen and used again as the season changes, to form the base of a poaching syrup for new fruits. Store tamarillos at room temperature until ripe, then refrigerate for up to 10 days. They are generally available (although spasmodically) between March and December. TAMARILLOS GO WITH: Pepper, chillies, star anise, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, sugar, duck, quail, venison, pork, kangaroo, lamb, walnuts, almonds, cream, yoghurt, whisky, brandy, orange-flavoured liqueur and lemon. 86

TAMARILLOS Now is the time to become better acquainted with a Kiwi contribution to the culinary world. Recipes & st yling by K ay Francis, photography Ken Br as s

pick of the crop

-----Tamarillo Chutney Makes about 2 litres

12 tamarillos 1 tablespoon sesame oil 2 large red onions, diced finely 2 cloves garlic, chopped with 1 teaspoon sea salt 1½ cups dark brown

(muscovado) sugar ½ cup brown rice vinegar ½ cup mirin ¾ cup currants 1 cinnamon stick 1 star anise

To peel tamarillos, cut a shallow X on base of each and cut off stalks. Put tamarillos in a large pot, pour in boiling water to cover and place over heat until simmering. Drain tamarillos in a colander. When cool enough to handle peel off skins. Chop fruit roughly and place in a bowl. Heat the sesame oil in the large pot, add onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tamarillos and remaining ingredients. Stir until sugar has dissolved, bring to the boil then reduce heat to medium/ low and simmer uncovered for 60 minutes, or until thick. Spoon into sterilised jars and seal. Serve with roasted or grilled meat or poultry, such as grilled kangaroo fillet (pictured) with a mixture of boiled potato and celeriac.

-----Roasted Tamarillos with Crispy Skin Duck Breast Serves 6 ROASTED TAMARILLOS 12 tamarillos 1 teaspoon five spice powder 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns, crushed 1 teaspoon sea salt ROAST DUCK BREASTS 6 duck breasts, skin on 1 tablespoon sea salt 2 tablespoons soft

brown sugar 1 teaspoon five spice powder 2 teaspoons sesame oil 1 teaspoon mirin TO SERVE 1 daikon radish, peeled and julienned 1 bunch silverbeet, chiffonade green part Sesame oil

Preheat oven to 160°C. Line a large oven tray with baking paper. Cut tamarillos in half lengthways, keeping stalks intact. Place on tray. Combine five spice powder, Sichuan

pepper and sea salt and sprinkle on cut surface of tamarillos. Roast for 60 minutes then remove from oven. Tamarillos can be cooled and placed in a jar or plastic bag at this stage for use when required (though bring to room temperature before using). Increase oven temperature to 220°C. Have duck breasts at room temperature. Combine sea salt, brown sugar, five spice powder, sesame oil and mirin in a bowl. Stir to form a paste and spread thickly on the duck breast skin. Place breasts, skin side up, on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Roast duck in hot oven 15 minutes. Remove from oven, cover with foil and a tea towel, and rest for 10-15 minutes. Drop prepared daikon radish and silver beet into about 3cm of boiling water in a large pot. Cook 3-4 minutes, then drain in a colander. Sprinkle with sesame oil. Slice duck breasts thickly. Serve with vegetables and roasted tamarillos. Note: These roasted tamarillos are also good served with crisp roast pork belly. They can be refrigerated and added to a cheese board or used in a salad. Chiffonade: Cut into thin, ragged strips by rolling up small tubes of the green leafy parts and and slicing thinly.

pick of the crop

--------Tamarillo Winter Puddings

Serves 8

12 tamarillos 450g loaf brioche (from bakeries, supermarkets or fruit markets) 125g butter, melted 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup 2 tablespoons soft brown sugar 2 tablespoons almond meal 2 tablespoons brioche crumbs 3 tablespoons brandy Whipped cream, to serve Almond praline, for decoration (see note) To peel tamarillos, cut a shallow X on base of each and cut off stalks. Put tamarillos in a large pot, pour in boiling water to cover and place over heat until just simmering. Drain tamarillos in a colander. When cool enough to handle peel off skins. Roughly chop fruit and place in a bowl. Preheat oven to 160°C. Brush the insides of 8 x 1-cup baking moulds with some of the melted butter. Place a square of baking paper in the base of each. Cut brioche loaf into thin slices. Using one of the moulds as a guide, cut 8 circles of brioche to fit the top and 8 circles to fit the base. Reserve brioche trims, including crust. Cut remaining brioche


into strips the depth of the moulds. To make brioche crumbs from the trims process until fine in a food processor or in small batches in a blender. Excess crumbs can be frozen in a snap-lock bag for future use. Brush cut brioche with combined melted butter and maple syrup. Line moulds with the base first and then the sides. Reserve top pieces. Add almond meal, sugar, brioche crumbs and brandy and stir to combine. Spoon mixture into prepared moulds and top with base piece of brioche. Place moulds on a baking tray and then into the oven. Bake for 60 minutes, remove from oven and stand 10 minutes before turning out. (The puddings can be made in advance and kept refrigerated in the

moulds. Reheat to serve.) Serve with whipped cream and almond praline. Note: To make almond praline, roast 50g flaked almonds until dark golden. Heat ½ cup caster sugar with ¼ cup water and 1 teaspoon butter in a saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil, without stirring, until toffee reaches hard-crack stage (150°C) (or is dark golden). Add all the almonds and briefly stir to just combine. (Too much stirring will make the toffee sugary.) Tip mixture onto an oven tray and with a metal spatula quickly spread. Cool and when set remove from tray and break into pieces. These can be stored in an airtight container or snap-lock bag for future use. Crush desired amount to smaller chunks and sprinkle on puddings to serve.

things we love RIGHT: Suitable for stove, oven and microwave use, the Emile Henry tagine’s closed and conical lid allows steam and flavours to circulate easily during cooking. There is no need for pre-seasoning as the natural glazed finish means you’ll achieve flavoursome results.

RIGHT: Before Peugeot made cars, they created the pepper mill. Today, Peugeot salt and pepper mills are still at the forefront of innovation and design, after more than 150 years of essentially remaining the same. These mechanisms are guaranteed for life with Peugeot’s famously reliable steel grinding structure.

Culinary secrets The right tools will ensure your kitchen escapades go off without a hitch.

ABOVE: Turn the preparation of a dish into a culinary pleasure with the high-quality 26cm Wüsthof PRO Wide bread knife. Featuring a serrated edge that allows for an easy, crush-free cut through any food item, it is 100 per cent designed in Germany and is set to last a lifetime. RIGHT: The Emile Henry Round stewpot will help you master simmering and all kinds of slow cooking for delicious tender results. The Flame® ceramic diffuses heat slowly and is 30 per cent lighter than cast iron, making handling much easier.

BELOW: Get rid of those post-cooking smells in your kitchen with the Vornado air purifier AC300. Using true HEPA filtration, it can remove up to 99.97 per

BELOW: Unlike traditional non-stick cookware, GreenPan’s Wood-be range 28cm frying pan is made of natural materials instead of synthetics.

cent of airborne allergens down to 0.3 micron in size. The AC300 also uses a radial blower to intake and clean all the air in the room.

Utilising Thermolon™ Marathon technology, the Wood Be collection will never blister, peel or release toxic fumes.


pick of the crop

--------Poached Tamarillo with Whisky Creams 16 tamarillos 1 cup soft brown sugar 1 vanilla bean 1 cinnamon stick 1 lemon, sliced thickly WHISKY CREAMS 5 egg yolks ¼ cup raw sugar ⅓ cup whisky 2 leaves gelatine, soaked in cold water ¾ cup pouring cream To peel tamarillos, cut a shallow X on base of each. Put tamarillos in a large bowl, pour in boiling water to cover and stand


Serves 8

3-4 minutes. Put 1 litre water into a deep pan. Add sugar, the vanilla bean, split in half lengthways and the seeds scraped into the water, the cinnamon stick and sliced lemon. Heat until sugar dissolves. Drain tamarillos and carefully peel skin from the base, trimming around stalk with small scissors if necessary. Put each peeled tamarillo immediately into the poaching liquid. Return pan to a low heat, cover and bring to a gentle simmer. Poach, semicovered for 15 minutes. Turn off heat. To make whisky creams, place yolks, sugar and whisky in the top of a double boiler or in a bowl positioned over a pan of water. Whisk over a medium heat, taking

care the water does not touch the upper pot or bowl. The mixture will become smooth, pale and thick after about 8-10 minutes. If it at any stage it appears to curdle, remove immediately from heat and whisk until smooth. Squeeze gelatine to extract extra water, then stir into egg mixture to dissolve. Stir in cream. Pour mixture into 8 x ¼-cup moulds (I used silicone moulds which make extraction easy) and refrigerate until set. Remove tamarillos from poaching syrup and place 2 on each serving plate. Boil syrup rapidly until it reduces and is thick and sticky. Unmould a whisky cream onto plate and spoon syrup over fruit.

Barambah Organics is a certiďŹ ed organic dairy located on the picturesque Dumaresq River Barambah Organics is an award winning dairy company producing superb cheeses, luscious yoghurts, highly sought after creams and bottled milk. All of the milk is sourced from Barambah’s own dairy farms. Having ownership and quality control from paddock to plate means that we can ensure that animal welfare and cattle nutrition is first class. This means that you, our highly valued customer, receives the best tasting produce available. Certified Organic means that no antibiotics, hormones, pesticides or artificial fertilisers are used on the farms.


here are the latest drops, news and views from the world of beer, wine and spirits. By Greg Duncan Powe ll Quenching XXXX Gold Australian Pale Ale, $16 per six pack XXXX Gold Lager put mid-strength beers to the fore in the warmer parts of our great country and this Pale Ale is an excellent follow up. It has much more character and personality than every other mainstream mid-strength brew.

West Cape Howe There’s a wine marketing theory that goes: If you want your wine to be respected, put a big price on it. It’s a strategy that taps into the “if it’s expensive it must be good” part of consumer logic. West Cape Howe obviously pays no heed to this sort of trickery. When

Lunching Zonte’s Footstep Scarlet Ladybird Fleurieu Peninsula Rosé 2015, $18 Named after the little ladybirds that eat aphids in vineyards that don’t use pesticides, this rosé has a bit more cut and thrust than the standard pink drink. That means it behaves much better at the table with barbecues and tangy Asian food.


you taste a West Cape Howe wine and look at the price you do a double take. Did someone make a mistake? Nope, value is a core principle of this brand. Long recognised by savvy wine buyers, last year James Halliday awarded West Cape Howe Best Value Winery of the Year in his annual accolades. Handily

situated in the centre of the massive Great Southern wine region, the winery utilises the region’s ability to produce excellent examples of most varietals. The Cape to Cape Cabernet Merlot 2014, $17, is a bargain; the West Cape Howe Mount Barker Riesling 2015, $22, shows off Mount Barker’s reputation with Riesling; the Old School Chardonnay 2015, $22, is not as old school as the label suggests, and the Book Ends Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, $28, could easily wear a much higher price tag.

DID YOU KNOW? Why is wine made from grapes? Wine can be made from everything from chillies to watermelons, but not without the addition of sugar. Grapes are the only fruit that has the perfect balance of sugar, tannin and acid so that nothing else needs to be added. Saving

Food matching

Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2014, $8 A French Sauv Blanc from the home of the variety for a measly $8 at Aldi! Mon Dieu! It must be terrible. It’s not! This humble white could happily sit alongside savvies three times its price. It is more than a quaffer, there’s a bit of European style to the acidity and it goes well with chèvre.

Innocent Bystander Syrah 2014, $25 Syrah or Shiraz it’s the same grape but this Yarra Syrah is a very different beast to a Barossa Shiraz. There’s a savoury edge to the wine with white pepper and sour cherries rather than blackberries and plums. The finish is long and taut and shines with a rib roast.


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Brush up on your kitchen skills with a cook’s tour around the country. By Daria Kurilo A Tavola! (Vic)

Red Feather Inn (Tas)

Tie your hair back, put on your apron and dig in at the hands-on cooking classes at Pizzini Winery’s A Tavola! cooking school. With a range of different classes available, there is plenty to learn (and eat) about the Italian cuisine. The morning to lunch classes commence at 10am and coffee and biscotti are offered on arrival. After the introductions and the tasty treats, students move into the kitchen where they learn to prepare five different dishes. Then join the staff and other students and indulge in the feast that you’ve just created along with a well-deserved glass of wine. Other classes include the paddock-to-pantry, whistle-stop tour of street food, and an Italian pastries class. An exclusive class for couples is also available, called the pig-on-a-spit dinner party, where partners may choose to join an educational vineyard/winery tour while others stay in the kitchen.

With more than 10 cooking classes available, no class is the same at the Red Feather Inn. From learning butchery and sausage making to baking and hens’ high tea party classes, the Red Feather Inn team are experts when it comes to food. Managed by owner, Lydia Nettlefold, the classes are often accompanied by house and guest chefs where they share their wealth of knowledge of good food and the splendour of Tasmanian produce. The Red Feather Cooking and Lifestyle School helps you build your confidence with complicated tasks while allowing you to have an enjoyable experience. All the ingredients are grown at the inn’s heritage farm and vegetable potager.

Nilgiri’s (NSW)

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Dessert from Vanilla Zulu; making pasta at A Tavola!; a bowl of minestrone; fish dish from Nilgiri’s; tasting at Nilgiri’s (photos by John Slayter); hands on at Villa Cavour; learning from a pro at Villa Cavour; Tasmania’s Red Feather Inn; enjoying the results of the class at Golden Pig; an Asian feast at Golden Pig.


Join award-winning master chef, Ajoy Joshi, as he shows you the pleasures of authentic Indian cuisine. Prepare Indian dishes, learn about Indian spices and culture, and tune in as some of the myths of Indian cooking will be unravelled. With a different culinary theme every month, the classes suit any palate. It is recommended to book two weeks in advance for classes held on Monday to Friday and book six to eight weeks in advance for the popular Saturday classes. After an introduction, the hands-on cooking follows where students create the menu, taste as they go and then enjoy a sit-down meal at the end of the class.

Golden Pig (Qld) Located in the heart of Brisbane, the Golden Pig understands the intricacies of different food and cuisines. Whether you want to perfect your knife skills or you are a complete beginner, the Golden Pig offers classes from the basics through to masterclass workshops. Owned by foodies Katrina and Mark, the pair can take you on a culinary journey from Europe and Asia to South America teaching the techniques and secrets of each cuisine. The school also offers a number of wine workshops where you learn all the tricks, tips and tactics you need to improve your palate in an intimate threehour workshop including wine, bread and nibbles.

Vanilla Zulu (Qld) Good food requires good humour. Zimbabwean-born chef Melanie Townsend brings her brilliant sense of humour to the kitchen so students laugh as much as they cook. Whether you’re looking for a simple three-hour cooking class or a sixweek chef’s course, all sessions offer a hands-on experience, recipes and the opportunity to eat the creations. During the gourmet master cooking class you’ll learn valuable skills including purees, foams and culinary bling. Get your foodie passport ready with the around-the-world class where you’ll create a three- or four-course feast.

Villa Cavour (Qld) Nestled in humpback whale central Hervey Bay, lessons at the Villa Cavour cooking school include the most popular regional and traditional Italian recipes. With classes held two days a week, gourmet chef Rocco teaches the art of Italian cuisine for every level, from beginner to expert. Standard lessons focus on how to make a variety of fresh pastas, breads, sauces and meals while advanced classes cover more intricate cooking techniques, dishes and desserts. After class, indulge in a food and wine degustation with wines imported from Piemonte in Italy. Let us know about your forthcoming classes by writing to us at Locked Bag 154, North Ryde, NSW 1670 or emailing

cooking schools


The flavour chasers When Sally and Robert Wise host lunch in the garden at their home in Tasmania’s Derwent Valley, it’s all hands on deck with three generations manning the stoves. By K ir st y McKenzie, photography Ken Br as s

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Sally’s latest book is A Kitchen in the Valley (ABC Books, $45); a family lunch at the garden; Sally’s pickles and preserves are part of her ploughman’s lunch; bread and scones after a ‘‘baking fit’’; Sally with Steph and Charlotte; Charly the apprentice.


When Sally Wise describes herself as a “mother of six with no recognisable skills or qualifications” she’s modestly overlooking the precise attributes that have led to her becoming one of Tasmania’s bestloved media cooks. Who could possibly know more about feeding a family of foodies on a budget, catering for her brood’s allergies and aversions, making the most of each season’s surplus produce by preserving and pickling, stretching a meal to accommodate the unexpected guests that kids inevitably bring home and turning leftovers into treats? Sally has been there and done all that, raised her family to adulthood, done a regular radio gig for the past 20 years and written 13 cookbooks in her

“spare” time. More recently she’s started sharing her vast repertoire of recipes and culinary wisdom through the cooking school she runs from her home at Molesworth in the Derwent Valley, about 30 minutes’ drive north-west of Hobart. Sometimes she’s assisted by her daughter, Stephanie, who also has her own food business selling jams and preserves under the label, Steph’s Kitchen, from her home in nearby New Norfolk. Growing up in suburban Hobart in the ’50s and ’60s Sally recalls a fairly traditional diet, but a family who appreciated good home cooking. “My grandmother was a baker in her youth and my Aunt Velma was a great cook who had a milk bar in Hobart,” she recalls. “When she asked me what I wanted for a wedding present when I married Rob, I asked

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for her recipes. She gave them to me presented in a red ring binder and they formed the foundation from which I fed my family for the next 30 years.” Necessity mothered invention when Sally had to nourish a growing family on a budget, and at Rob’s urging she began to experiment with pickles and preserves as a means of making the most of whatever was in season. Gradually Sally evolved from accomplished home cook to a local celebrity at Forcett, near Eaglehawk Neck, where the Wises moved in the early 1990s to raise their young family. In 1996 she was invited by presenter Chris Wisbey to share some of her culinary insights on Hobart’s ABC radio. She soon found herself in the role of a kitchen agony aunt, fielding questions on all culinary crises from ‘‘why are my pickled onions cloudy’’ to ‘‘what makes my jam mouldy’’ and ‘‘what should I do with leftover corned beef’’. Listeners begged her to write it all down. Chris advocated

for her and, in 2008, ABC Books published her first tome, A Year in a Bottle. The following year her first Slow Cooker book hit the stands, and 11 more have followed on every aspect of country cooking, from leftover makeovers and cooking for people with allergies to cooking for one or two, sweet treats and preserves. At press time Sally was eagerly anticipating her first book to be illustrated with full-colour photography by fellow Tasmanian Chris Crerar. Called A Kitchen in the Valley, the new book traces Sally and Rob’s move to their two-hectare farm in the Derwent Valley and the wonderful dishes that have evolved since they now have access to the bounty of produce for which the area is famous. “Stephanie and her family moved here before us,” Sally explains. “She was always telling me about the sensational berries, the stone fruit, apples pears and


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CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Pickled quail eggs in a jar; festive Eton mess pavlova; spiced fruit including cherries.

all sorts of vegies she could grow. I had long wanted to start a cooking school and we eventually found this property.” So Sally, Rob and their menagerie of dogs, cats, chooks, sheep and ducks took up residence in the lush valley and set about establishing the garden and orchard of Sally’s dreams, and a purpose-built space for the cooking school in a cabin next door to the house. Sally and Steph take classes both collectively and individually, and on weekends eight-yearold Charly (Charlotte) rolls up her sleeves and gets stuck into whatever task is allotted. “It’s in the blood, so it will out,” Sally observes as her granddaughter demonstrates knife skills many adult cooks can only dream of and joins a serious discussion about the origin of the josterberry (a cross between a blackcurrant and a gooseberry). Meanwhile, Rob beavers away in the background as chief washer up and stockist of the roadside produce stall that the cooks stock every weekend with whatever’s in surplus. He is also responsible for lots of hard yards in the garden and building everything from the wood-fired oven to a garlic and onion drying facility. As Rob observes, Sally is the ultimate flavour chaser. “All I want to do in life is grow produce, cook it and create flavour,” she says. “I let the fresh ingredient speak for itself and try my utmost to enhance it rather than overpower it.” Of course there are mishaps along the way, but Sally insists her best recipes come from her worst mistakes. “Pride comes before a crash,” she says. “I know as well as anyone else that the

whites of fresh duck eggs don’t whip as well as those that are a big older. But for some reason I used them when I was going into the ABC and making a pavlova for the show. Of course it flopped. So there I was with a dud pav and no time to make another. So I looked to what I had around and found some leftover Turkish delight from a confectionery class Steph had just given and fortunately there were raspberries and strawberries in the garden, so I was able to salvage an Eton mess from the disaster. It’s now one of my favourite recipes.” Mother and daughter are a charming double act, with lots of laughter leavening the serious business of a hands-on class. As the extended family gathers for lunch in the garden, the passion they share for food and its preparation is palpable. A simple ploughman’s lunch keeps getting extended as Sally keeps adding pickles and preserves we must try. She’s had a self-confessed “baking fit” earlier in the day and three types of bread grace the table, along with succulent meat pies, scones and a pavlova that did work. Rob rolls out some bottles of his home brew, made with local hops. “I give thanks every day that we have been able to move here and create this life,” Sally says. “People have been incredibly welcoming. The other day a plumber came here to work and saw me baking bread. I mentioned to him that I needed tins and the next day he turned up at 7am with the back of his ute filled with bread tins. Turns out he used to work for a baker. That’s Tasmanian country life for you. Great community, great produce and hospitality.”

----Spiced Cherries

The cherries from this recipe are delicious served with poultry or game meats. This recipe takes a little extra effort in the preparation, but is well worth it. Other fruits can be substituted for the cherries; for instance pears, peaches, nectarines, apricots or quinces. (Recipe from A Year in a Bottle or Complete Preserves by Sally Wise ABC Books/ HarperCollins) SPICED VINEGAR 500ml white vinegar 6 cloves 3 bay leaves 7g ground cinnamon 7g ground cardamom 7g ground coriander 7g ground allspice (Other spices can be used — adjust according to your preference) Combine all above ingredients in a large pot. Bring to the boil, then immediately remove from the heat, cover with a lid and leave to infuse for two or three hours. Strain the 98

vinegar through a layer of muslin. You are now ready to proceed with the rest of the recipe, which is easy.

----Spiced Cherries and Spiced Cherry Syrup 2kg cherries Strip of lemon rind

Strip of orange rind 1kg sugar 500ml spiced vinegar Combine the spiced vinegar, sugar and lemon rind in a very large pot — you may even like to divide the mixture between two pots. Bring to the boil, stirring to ensure that the sugar is dissolved. Add the cherries to the liquid and

food files an electric mixer (boiling water last) and beat until stiff peaks form. When mixture is beaten sufficiently, pile onto the tray and smooth out to a 23cm round. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 90°C and bake for 50 minutes more. Allow to cool completely. To make the coulis: Heat the berries and sugar together and then simmer 2 minutes, strain and cool. To decorate and serve: Just before serving time, break the outer crust of the pavlova into shards and set aside. Cut remaining pavlova into chunks, approximately one third to half cup in size. On a large serving plate (approximately 28cm), place 4 pieces of pavlova, joining them together with just a little whipped cream. Sprinkle with pieces of nougat, Turkish delight and scatter with the raspberries and strawberries. Repeat and then top with the shards of pavlova and any remaining confectionery and fruit. Serve immediately, drizzled with a little of the coulis.

----Marbled Bread

Makes one large 23cm round loaf.

simmer till just tender. Strain off the liquid, then pack the cherries firmly into sterilised jars. Return the vinegar mixture to the heat, bring back to the boil and cook a further 5 minutes. Pour the mixture over the cherries, then seal. You should have some of the syrup mixture left over. Bottle this and use as a topping for ice cream, panna cotta or a slice of baked cherry cheesecake.

----Festive Eton Mess Pavlova

This dish is a delight to share with friends or family on special occasions. It’s great fun to put together in random fashion with others. Irrespective of its final artisan appearance, it is guaranteed to be delicious and most certainly memorable. PAVLOVA 6 large egg whites

3 cups sugar 2 teaspoons cornflour 2 teaspoons white vinegar 4 tablespoons boiling water DECORATIONS 150g nougat, finely diced 200g Turkish delight (not chocolate coated), diced 400ml cream whipped to firm peaks with 2 teaspoons icing sugar 2 teaspoons icing sugar 2 punnets strawberries 1 punnet raspberries COULIS 250g raspberries (or other berries) 1 tablespoon sugar To make the Pavlova: Preheat oven to 130°C. Grease a large round pizza tray or similar. Place all the ingredients in the bowl of

This recipe came about by accident rather than design, when I had made three separate batches of bread and had a little too much dough of each for the loaf tins. On the spur of the moment, it seemed like a good idea to weave them together and this striking loaf was the result. I now purposely make it very often indeed. The loaf looks and tastes stunning with its interwoven earthy flavours — each mouthful is slightly different. It is delicious with toppings, either savoury or sweet. However, do try a slice or two just on its own so that you can fully appreciate the subtleties of flavour within the loaf itself. RYE DOUGH ½ cup rye flour 1½ cups white flour 2 teaspoons instant dried yeast 1 teaspoon salt 1½ teaspoons black molasses ½ cup hot water ½ cup cold water 1 teaspoons cider vinegar 2 teaspoons olive oil SPELT DOUGH ½ cup spelt flour 1½ cups plain flour 2 teaspoons instant dried yeast 1 teaspoon salt


food files consistency to the rye dough. Cover the bowl with a tea towel or plastic wrap. To make the white dough: Mix together the flour, yeast and salt and make a well in the centre. Add the egg white to the well (do not stir yet), along with the oil and almost all the warm milk, using only as much as is needed to make a mixture of similar consistency to the rye and spelt doughs. Cover the bowl with a tea towel or plastic wrap. To shape and bake the loaf: Grease a 23cm round springform pan. Turn each portion of dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead each individually for two minutes, then shape each into a rope 70cm long. Pinch the three ropes together at one end and then plait, sealing each end well. Now coil the plait around to make a 22cm round and place in the prepared pan. Cover with a tea towel. Heat oven to 200°C. Allow bread to rise almost to the top of the tin (about 20 to 30 minutes). Glaze with a little milk if desired. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped with the fingertips. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

2 teaspoons cornflour mixed to a paste with ¼ cup cold water To make the pastry: Place the flour, salt and butter in a food processor and process until if resembles breadcrumbs (or rub together with the fingertips to this stage). Turn out into a bowl and mix with enough egg yolk and water to bring it together into a soft dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 30 minutes. To make the meat filling: Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan and sauté the beef and mince until they change colour; add the onion and cook 3 minutes more. Add the remaining ingredients (except cornflour paste). Bring to the boil then reduce heat and just simmer until the beef is tender. Thicken with some or all of the cornflour paste. Cool completely. Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease 6 x 180ml capacity pie tins. Cut two thirds from the pastry and roll out to 6mm thick on a lightly floured

----Luscious Meat Pies Makes 4 pies 1½ teaspoons dark brown sugar 2 teaspoons olive oil 1 egg yolk, whisked lightly 1 cup warm water, approximately WHITE DOUGH 2 cups plain flour 2 teaspoons instant dried yeast 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon white sugar 2 teaspoons rice bran or sunflower oil or light olive oil 1 egg white, whisked lightly 1 cup warm water, approximately To make the rye dough: Mix the flours, yeast and salt together in a medium sized bowl, and then make a well in the centre. Melt the molasses in the hot water, then add the vinegar and cold water to this. Leave to stand until lukewarm. Pour into the well and mix into the flour, along with the oil. Cover the bowl with a tea towel or plastic wrap. To make the spelt dough: Mix together the flours, yeast and salt and make a well in the centre as before. Add the egg yolk to the well (do not stir yet), along with the oil and almost all the water, using only as much as is needed to make a mixture of similar 100

The crisp buttery pastry provides the perfect complement to these rustic, twice-beefed pies. The inclusion of a little mince ensures a rich, robust gravy with character in its own right. Any leftover pastry can be frozen for up to one month. PASTRY 250g plain flour ½ teaspoon salt 125g butter, diced 1 egg yolk, whisked lightly 2 tablespoons cold water, approximately 1 egg white, whisked lightly MEAT FILLING 3 teaspoons oil (such as canola or rice bran) 500g diced beef (such as chuck or rump) 300g best beef mince 1 large onion, diced 2 teaspoons tomato sauce (ketchup) 1 teaspoon tomato chutney 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon soy sauce ½ teaspoon salt, approximately ¾ cup water

surface. Cut bases for the pies, large enough to cover the base and sides of the tins and fit into place. Brush the pastry all over with the whisked egg white. Fill each pastry case with a generous amount of the meat mixture. Roll the remaining pastry, cut out tops for the pies and place over the top of the meat. Press edges together well. Prick each pie once with the tines of a fork. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown.


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A weather eye A cruise along Tasmania’s southern coastline takes in spectacular scenery, historic ports and occasionally challenging seas. Stor y & photography by Don Fu chs “Ideal conditions for cruising around this coastline” enthuses marine biologist and guest lecturer Mike Sudgen. “A gentle swell”, the master of the ship, Nathan Clark calls it. Almost all of the passengers agree. The surface is oily, there is no wind, the swell is around two metres, maybe even less. I, however, disagree. The mixed signals sent to the brain by my eyes and inner ears make me queasy. The assessment of conditions at sea are all a matter of perspective. My perspective is that of a lousy sailor. But being on deck in the fresh air helps. There are distractions. Dolphins zero in and play in the bow wave of the ship. And there are the cloudscapes, a visual drama in panoramic format and Technicolor. It’s a sky only the Southern Ocean can produce. We are cruising along the exposed and remote south coast of Tasmania, past the promontories of the South East Cape and the South Cape, towards the islands of the Maatsuyker Group, bastions of rock in an ocean known for its fury and foul weather. It is a photographer’s dream and the last image I take is that of De Witt Island in the fading light, dwarfed by dramatic, dark and heavy clouds, their fringes glowing in pale orange. Past the islands the rolling of the ship intensifies. I skip dinner and go straight to bed. Lying flat helps. The next morning I wake up where no ship of this size has gone before. During the night the Coral Expeditions I entered sheltered Port Davey and dropped anchor in Bramble Cove. We are in the remote wilderness of the World Heritage-listed Southwest National Park. After breakfast we set off


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to shore in the Explorer I, an aluminium tender, to where a tannin-stained creek runs over a small beach into the sea. Above looms Mt Millner. Low grey clouds swallow colours on this cool morning, creating a bleak landscape. But then, this is a matter of perspective too: forbidding wasteland or glorious wilderness? For Alex Dudley, discovery ranger on board the ship, it’s a magnificent area. “There are very good reasons,” he says, “why it is on the World Heritage list in terms of its wilderness value, the variety of the plants and the diversity of landforms.” Alex’s job is to interpret the natural and cultural values of Tasmania on excursions and to give lectures on board. Decked out with a red rain jacket and a green cap, both sporting the logo of Tasmania’s Parks & Wildlife Service, the naturalist with a strong bias for reptiles and a knack for poetry, is in his element. Almost all of the 22 passengers on board the Coral Expedition I make their way up the side of the quartzite mountain. The view from halfway up the mountain is tremendous. The windswept vegetation rewards us with a generous floral display. We are not the first in this remote location, a boggy track is testimony to that. We are, however, the first that have arrived on a cruise ship. We are on the inaugural Tasmania cruise created by Cairns-based Coral Expeditions. It is an expedition-style voyage to explore some of Tasmania’s spectacular coastline. A good look at the map of the island state reveals the possibilities for an


CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE LEFT: Dolphins play alongside the cruise ship; Cockle Creek, the most southern point in Australia that’s accessible by road; Coral Explorer I ship’s bell; a fern spotted during a walk from Bathurst Harbour.

“There are very good reasons why it is on the World Heritage list in terms of its wilderness value, the variety of the plants, and the diversity of landforms.�


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CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Brooding clouds at Port Davey; kayakers off the Breaksea Islands; hiking above Bathurst Harbour; the Coral Explorer I anchored in Bruny Island’s Adventure Bay.


adventure cruise. Soaring sea cliffs, a multitude of islands, hidden bays and sheltered waterways, glorious beaches, safe anchorages and untouched wilderness combined with testimonies of history set the stage of this sea voyage along the south and south-east coast of Tasmania — with the wild and remote south-west corner thrown in. The means to experience all this is the Coral Expeditions I, a 35-metre catamaran that offers room for a maximum of 50 passengers. It is intimate, cosy even, without the flashy trimmings of the big cruise ships. The focus is not on life on board but on the destination. It is all about the excursions, and there are plenty during the course of the journey. The beginning of the cruise is benign ... the Derwent, the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, Recherche Bay, Cockle Creek, with plenty of excursions along the way. It is a gradual farewell from civilisation and a slow transformation into untamed wilderness. Cockle Creek, the southern-most point on Tasmania that can be reached by car, sits on the edge of the

Southwest Wilderness. It is the last outpost before what feels like the end of the world. Where cars have to stop we can continue — and head straight into the open ocean swell. A day later, we are in Port Davey. After we have walked halfway up Mt Millner and explored the protected waters behind the Breaksea Islands, a straight row of windswept islands that guard the entrance into Port Davey and serve as a playground for sea kayakers, we penetrate deeper into the wilderness. Master Nathan Clark guides our ship slowly through the Bathurst Channel and The Narrows into Bathurst Harbour, a large shallow body of water deep in the Southwest Wilderness. Although he doesn’t find it particularly challenging to navigate these remote waters “it’s very much a privilege, an honour, to be the first one to do it” he says proudly. Wind and grey clouds, a meteorological staple in this part of the world, accompany the historic passage of the Coral Expedition I. Our safe anchorage in Bathurst Harbour is near a cluster of islands,

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the Celery Top Islands. That afternoon, we are treated to a display of Southwest splendour. The monotonous cloud cover breaks up and colour floods the landscape for a short while: blue sky, interspersed with photogenic clouds, distant hills awash with warm sunset hues, a brief period of coffeetable-book light for those with cameras. It is a brief visit of good weather, a glimpse into what could be but seldom is, the respite before the next low pressure system. Unexpected movement wakes me up the next morning. Short buffs make the ship sway gently. Outside it is still dark, with just a hint of dawn. Then the noise of the anchor chain being lifted and the starting of the ship’s engine completely removes the too-early-in-the-morningcobwebs. Shortly before five the ship master’s alarm went off — the anchor chain was dragging. North-westerly winds had picked up overnight, to such a strength, that our ship was being pushed from its anchorage. The captain is forced to quickly reset the anchor.


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CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Tin miner Deny King’s hut and garden at Melaleuca; walking from Melaleuca to a lookout over Bathurst Harbour; Fluted Cape on Bruny Island; a lone hiker standing on the edge of Fluted Cape.


Awake now, I go on deck. Unexpectedly mild wind gusts are chopping up the ink surface of the water. The islands and further away, hills and mountains, starting to get texture. It is a grey overcast morning, somewhat reluctant to light up. It is the morning of a busy day. After breakfast we follow the narrow river-like waterway of the Melaleuca Inlet to the remote outpost of Melaleuca. After lunch an exhilarating walk to a spectacular lookout high above Bathurst Harbour is on the itinerary. As soon as we return, the master orders the anchor lifted. The return journey, from sheltered Bathurst Harbour and Port Davey around the exposed South West Cape and again along the south coast, begins and lasts through the night. The wind has turned to a west-nor-westerly and shortly past the Breaksea Islands the Coral Expeditions I steams into a churned up, heaving sea. I flee into my cabin. Looking out through the window I see a world in motion, with sharp rock pinnacles rearing out of the grey water. Later, lecturer Mike Sudgen will describe it as a

“breeze and a bumpy ride” in his cruise report. He is backed up by master Nathan Clark who insists “that wasn’t rough”. The entry in his logbook says: “Winds settled at a westerly 20knots and swell W/SW 2-2.5m providing a comfortable cruise through the night, arriving at Adventure Bay a little after 0300.” He forgot to mention the wild part between Port Davey and the South West Cape, before he could steam with the wind. That rocky evening the dining room hosts only 10 passengers out of 22. I’m glad that I’m not alone in my misery. Despite the not-so-wild drama outside and a writer’s mind running riot with scenarios of maritime catastrophes, I feel in good hands. “Down here, as far as navigation is concerned, it’s very straight forward,” Nathan says. “It’s very well chartered. All the charts are really reliable. There is a fairly small tidal range, I think a 1.3-metre tidal range most the year round, so those components aren’t particularly worrisome. The weather is our larger concern down here.”

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A few days later the forecast for Tasmania’s coastal waters is an eight-metre swell along the south coast. That, even the master concedes, would constitute as rough. I manage to nod off during our bumpy ride along the South Coast and wake up in the calm waters of Adventure Bay on Bruny Island. A huge breakfast beckons to make up lost ground — two missed dinners almost constitute a diet for me and an insult to the skills of the ship’s chef Travis Scarr. Then it is firm ground again and a delightful walk to the lofty top of Fluted Cape and a visit to the small Bligh Museum in Adventure Bay. What follows is an afternoon cruise in calm conditions across Storm Bay towards Tasman Island. For Alex Dudley this is one of the highlights of the cruise. “Tasman Island at sunset is amazing, just extraordinary”, he enthuses. We all agree. While the Coral Explorer I passes the menacing cliffs of the island and continues along the dramatic coast of Tasman National Park, everyone was outside, including the crew, to watch the spectacle. A humpback whale and


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CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: A seal colony on the Ile de Phoques; Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park; view from the abandoned settlement of Darlington on Maria Island; kangaroo on Maria Island.


its playful calf add to the excitement. The distractions are so powerful that dinner has to be postponed and only the fading light drives us back into the dining room. Cruising past the cliffs is a matter of perspective again. A few years back I walked to the top of Cape Pillar and looked over to Tasman Island from the towering cliff edge. Now I see the forbidding dolerite rampant from water level. It is a very different viewpoint, one that not too many people have the privilege to see. “I’ve never worked on a boat from where I actually could see the coast of Tasmania,” Alex Dudley says. “It’s just phenomenal. Tasmania’s coast is absolutely spectacular.” Overnight our ship passes the eastern side of Maria Island and enters Great Oyster Bay. Normally the bony finger of the Freycinet Peninsula shelters this body of water from the elements. Not today! With a stiff westerly blowing and a 1.5-metre swell, the transfer from ship to shore in the tender becomes a dicey undertaking. The walk through a gap in the granite peaks of The Hazards to a lookout and down to glorious Wineglass Bay is the reward for braving the choppy waters of the bay. While we are walking, Nathan steams the ship around the tip of the Freycinet Peninsula and drops anchor off what is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful beaches in Australia. Along Freycinet’s dramatic granite coast, past Schouten Island, we head for a speck of rock on the way to Maria Island. The ship’s master notes in his log book: “Approximately half way to Maria Island is an island called Ile des Phoques (Seal Island) where I was able to bring the ship to within half a boat length off the rocks for a fantastic view of a colony of seals basking on the rock ledges”. The rocky island is riddled with caves and is considered one of the best dive sites in the world. In the distance, mountainous Maria Island is already visible. It is a pleasant traverse, with blue skies, sunshine and fresh air. At Maria Island, exposure to 20-knot winds makes the planned anchorage right in front of Darlington impossible, so the anchor drops in Fossil Bay on the other side of the island. Formidable cliffs and the peaks of Bishop and Clerk loom

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CLOCKWISE FROM RIGHT: Seal watching on Ile de Phoques; convict remains at Port Arthur; spectacular cliffs on the Tasman Peninsula; church at Port Arthur.


above. As sheltered as the anchorage is, it throws a challenge to the crew. Instead of landing at the jetty in Darlington, they are forced to set us ashore at Fossil Bay. Wind, rocks and a steep climb from the rock shelf adds a little adventure — and a sense of achievement. Maria Island then lives up to its reputation: wildlife abounds with plenty of kangaroos, Cape Barren geese and tame wombats roaming the grassy areas. This, and well-preserved evidence of a multi-layered history combined with sunny weather, make the long walk on the island a pleasant experience. History remains a theme with Port Arthur our next destination. But before exploring one of Australia’s premier historic sites, it is once again nature that grabs the spotlight. After breakfast the Coral Explorer I heads through Mercury Passage towards the Forestier Peninsula before passing the magnificent cliffs and sea stacks of the Tasman Peninsula, this time in full sunlight. Then the master of the ship points the bow west and steers the Coral Expeditions I through the narrow passage between Cape Pillar and Tasman Island — right into a heaving cauldron. Fully exposed to the wind and the swell — W/SW 20-25 knots, swell 3-4 metres is noted in the captain’s log — we are treated to another drama on the other side. I’m on the top deck, riding out the rolls and bumps, watching waves crashing into the rocks, observing the large swells rolling towards the ship. It is exhilarating! For once I’m not fleeing into the cabin and lying down. Have I finally found my sea legs? Then we reach the sheltered fjord that leads to a most beautiful and idyllic location with a most brutal past: Port Arthur. We arrive, as the convicts once did, by ship. Our welcome however is a different one: no shackles but a knowledgeable guide and a behind-the-scenes tour. The next morning we are back in Hobart.

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Celebrating Creativity

Light & Shade The environment and social justice are the two major drivers for Tasmanian lighting and furniture designer Duncan Meerding. By Mer yl Hancock , photography Ken Br as s & Jan Dall as In the shared Designed Objects Tasmania (DOT) workshop in North Hobart, shavings of Tasmanian eucalyptus and other timbers tingle nostrils and conjure canopy. For a forest lover, it’s the ultimate aromatherapy. Designer Duncan Meerding deftly springs onto the table, drill in one hand and a pendant light in the other, eager to play photographer’s assistant in helping capture the best shots of his work. He is smiley and chatty while he bores fixtures into the ceiling, as if auditioning for a Bunnings commercial. Although Duncan started life more as a maker, using hand tools to build billycarts with his Dad to race on the reserve near his family home, he has emerged as a furniture and lighting designer of award-winning acclaim. In fact there are too many accolades to mention. His cracked log light range,

made from salvaged logs, celebrates the bond between timber and light. When hollowed and lit from within, knots and crevices generate a gamut of rays, setting the log aglow and dispersing shards of light. On an elongated trestle table in the workroom, cracked logs await a steel wool massage and gentle oil. No two form a pair, yet the top of every silky smooth concentric pattern provokes a tactile attraction and I find my hands subconsciously gliding over them. Another table is crammed with the more imposing cracked log stumps next in line for attention. Duncan is slightly surprised by the demand for his lights and suggests the appeal may be in bringing a slice of nature indoors. He is an ardent environmentalist and credits his upbringing and surroundings as major influences on his design ethic. “One of the really nice things about Hobart is most of the suburbs are quite close to parklands or bush,” he explains. “From an early age, we’d spend time in the wilderness whether it was the local bush park or walking up Mount Wellington.” Ambling down the historic Rivulet Track energises him on his way to work. Incredible, given at 18 he discovered his sight was failing due to a genetic disorder, and now aged 29 he is legally blind with only five per cent of his vision remaining. You’d never guess when face to face with him. Shadow, form and texture are key to his designs, honing sensory information heightened by his impairment.

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Duncan’s collection includes pendants as well as floor lamps; at work in his North Hobart studio; beautiful night effects; if you go down in the woods tonight ...

Celebrating Creativity

Ambling down the historic Rivulet Track energises him on his way to work.


Celebrating Creativity

Duncan suggests the appeal may be in bringing a slice of nature indoors.

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Duncan’s craft extends to the Leaning Leaf coffee table; naturally inspired knife blocks; an elegant lily lamp; he makes pendants as well as sconces and table and floor lamps.

Being part of a design collective and the collegial nature of the design industry in Tasmania allows him to push boundaries, not just for vision-impaired designers. “Everyone is very supportive of one another in Tasmania,” he says. “Our vibrant arts and design movement relies on a tradition of designer-makers which I think is a strength in terms of increasing longevity and sustainability of designs.” When there’s an element of understanding how an item is made, social responsibility comes into play, which Duncan believes is crucial in balancing a world of angular, high-rise architecture and touch phones. His design principles are therefore holistic and organic — petals, for example, inspired the propeller series and he selects the most appropriate type of timber for the application rather than forcing a design on a wood that won’t perform. Colleagues drift in and out of their partitioned workspaces, pausing for a meet and greet, and it’s clear that people form a major part of Duncan’s landscape. He admits he seeks relationships and collaborations both at home and internationally not just to improve his own practice, but for fun. “I think the world we live in is an interesting one and the challenge is to maintain 116

social contact,” he says. “I’m mindful of treating every new person as a potential friend with an interesting story to tell.” He lists rewarding personal experiences as a stint in Kerala, India, with the founders of Braille Without Borders and Kanthari, both organisations that encourage individuals to realise their dreams. Equally, rock climbing with his mates in the wilderness thrills him, satiating his sense of adventure and comradeship. “I find it incredibly relaxing, like a form of meditation,” he says. “Plus, the Mount Wellington and Tasman Peninsula locations are spectacular.” The calendar for 2016 is looking big for Duncan, as he’s been selected to exhibit in Messe Frankfurt Light + Building, the largest lighting trade fair on the global circuit. “It’s a bit surreal,’’ he says. ‘‘I’m quite excited and somewhat overwhelmed but it’s an adventure at the same time and a big learning curve. The lighting and design scene in Germany is cutting-edge and whether the outcome is just gaining more contacts for work there, or finding someone who wants to collaborate on design work, the main thing to remember with showcases is to keep your mind open to the possibilities.” For more information visit

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Special weekend offer from April 2016 for two people to eat, cook and stay from $910.00 mention this offer when booking

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Join Kirsty McKenzie on the

Tour to England, France and Italy Visit country fairs, markets, stately homes, wineries and attend a cooking class.

Kirsty, the Editor of Australian Country magazine, will be accompanied by her husband Ken, who will make sure that Only available through Travelrite International you achieve the best possible photographs of your trip.

Visiting Canterbury, Paris, Blois in the Loire Valley, Beaune in Burgundy and Como in the Italian Lakes. August 27 to September 15, 2016

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Cruise beyond the Yasawa Islands to the world heritage listed Levuka. Swim in the Bouma Waterfall lagoon on the garden island of Taveuni and stand on the 180th Meridian – the arbitrary Dateline between today and tomorrow. Our journey takes you to Savusavu’s extinct volcanic crater, hot springs and thriving markets. Experience guided island, village & school tours with accompanying Marine Biologist & Cultural Talks. Explore picture perfect coral cays for snorkelling, glass bottom boat and scuba diving opportunities and discover the remote Northern islands of Fiji. Don’t forget to attend the Tropical island lovo feast & kava ceremony while the children are having fun in the kids club. When you’re on the boat spend your afternoons near the swimming pools, chatting with the friendly Fijian crew with a wealth of local knowledge, experience nightly entertainment & enjoy the all inclusive meals cooked with fresh local and imported produce. Packages include transfers and 2 nights at The Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa. All for just $2779.00 per person, which means your partner travels half price!

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Barefoot Springs B&B From $480 per couple for 2 night minimum weekend or $215 per couple per night midweek. Rates include a full cooked breakfast. Relax and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views over the Shoalhaven coastline. Close to Kangaroo Valley, Berry, and south coast beaches, in a tranquil & secluded location only a couple of hours drive from Canberra and Sydney. Accommodation consists of luxury Studio Cottages with double spa bathroom, log fire, TV/DVD, AC, well equipped kitchenette and balcony/patio; also a private Queen Room with en-suite, in the main homestead. Barefoot Springs is surrounded by lovely gardens and paddocks, with native animals such as wombats, wallabies and magnificent birdlife. Treat yourself and unwind in this comfortable and peaceful retreat and enjoy the sumptuous cooked breakfasts each morning. 155 Carrington Rd, Beaumont (Cambewarra Mountain), NSW 2577 Tel: 02 4446 0509 Email:

Mulla Villa

CONVICT BUILT 1840 3174 Great North Road Wollombi, Hunter Valley - 1 km south of Wollombi


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Hunterstay Accommodation manages outstanding holiday accommodation in the Broke Fordwich wine region of the Hunter Valley in NSW.

Phone: (02) 6579 1259



Enchanting Circa 1915 Heritage Home Lovely Established English Gardens Open Fires, Old World Rustic Charm Period Features, Stained Glass Windows Country Style Cooked Breakfast daily, served inside or outside in Spring/Summer - Relax and unwind in luxury

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9-11 Brentwood Ave, Blackheath NSW 2785 Ph: 02 4787 5224

Bed and Breakfast Maddies is a lovely country home built in the late 1800’s boasting high ceilings and polished wood floors. The emphasis is on relaxed privacy. All bedrooms have their own facilities.

35 Paterson Road, Bolwarra NSW 2320 P. 02 4930 1801 E.

Chelsea Park

Be transported back in time and share a unique Art Deco experience. When you arrive at Chelsea Park you soon appreciate why it is called “Hollywood in the Highlands”. This is a boutique bed and breakfast with a difference. Single night stays are welcome and the tariff will surprise. Guests find it hard to leave and repeat bookings speak for themselves. Chelsea Park is close to all the magic that is “the Southern Highlands of NSW” it is “a world away” yet so close. Ask about Arcadia House a comfortable 5 bedroom home, ideal for family reunions or “girl’s weekends away”. Child friendly, with all you need to make your stay a pleasure Arcadia House is a place you can call “your home in the Highlands”. 589 Moss Vale Road Burradoo NSW 2576 T: (02) 4861 7046 E:

More information at or

Arcadia House

Arcadia House is a country-style home located close to the heart of Bowral. Fully self-contained accommodation for families and groups Five comfortable bedrooms, two spacious bathrooms and all linen provided.” Your home in the country” child friendly and close to all the attractions. Savor the lifestyle, sit and relax in a little bit of heaven known as the Southern Highlands. Phone: (02) 4861 7046


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Where girls become confident, well-educated young women. OPEN DAY

9.00am to 1.00pm, Saturday 5 March 2016.


Your boarding journey begins... with one phone call and a visit. Let us show you why our families love boarding at Xavier College. For more information and a personalised tour please contact Di Odgers, Head of Admissions on (03) 9854 5373 or visit



“Women of the Future” — Miss Jeanie Hood, Founding Principal 1896–1902

Create a pathway to tertiary education Empowering and nurturing individuals for over 120 years, St Catherine’s School, Melbourne, leads the way for girls’ education in Australia and has exceptional boarding facilities. Life as a St Catherine’s boarder provides a fantastic city boarding experience and the opportunity to gain independence for tertiary life and beyond. St Catherine’s provides your daughter with a balanced education in a safe and comfortable living environment where she can achieve her best. St Catherine’s is offering prospective boarding students the opportunity to enjoy a day and a night at our School, where they will meet current students and staff in classroom and co-curricular activities, and stay overnight in our Boarding House. Timed to coincide with our Senior Musical Sweet Charity on Thursday 28 April, the event provides your daughter the opportunity to experience all that St Catherine’s boarding has to offer. To find out more, or book a place for your daughter, please contact our Registrar, Ms Amanda Bennett on 03 9828 3917 or email

ST CATHERINE’S SCHOOL A Day and Boarding School for Girls, ELC to Year 12 (ELC includes boys) 17 Heyington Place Toorak VIC 3142 T: (03) 9822 1285 |


Visit us to find out more about our boutique boarding experience. A College of the Uniting Church | 365 Stirling Highway Claremont WA 6010 T +618 9384 4000 E W


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A nurturing and caring boarding community At Pymble we recognise the importance of well-balanced girls. Our dedicated and passionate boarding staff recognise and nurture the unique strengths and qualities of each girl as they move from dependence to independence. Come and experience Pymble for yourself at our 2016 SECONDARY SCHOOL OPEN EVENINGS Thursday 17 March, Wednesday 8 June and Thursday 25 August We also invite you to visit Pymble for a tour. College tours are conducted on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays during term. For more information phone 02 9855 7799 or visit

Pymble Ladies’ College is a school of the Uniting Church in Australia for girls from Kindergarten to Year 12. CRICOS 03288K



BRISBANE GRAMMAR SCHOOL A day and boarding school for boys years 5 to 12

With the highest academic outcomes among Queensland boarding schools, now is the time to open the doors of opportunity for your son to enjoy life as a Brisbane Grammar School boarder. As a leading boys’ school, BGS offers a supportive approach to boarding, along with unparalleled opportunities. Our boarders have doorstep access to state of the art facilities and exceptional academic support. Through his interaction with a diverse range of people and experiences, your son will develop his emotional and intellectual intelligence, making lifelong friends along the way. CRICOS No: 00489C

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• creative corner

LEARN DESIGN CREATE Into patchwork and quilƟng, embroidery and other craŌs? Teach texƟles and art at school? Talk to me about our Liquid Radiance for: • Fabric designing - unique hand-coloured fabrics for all your projects • Restyling your wardrobe so simply and economically you won’t believe it! • Workshops at your venue or mine, and personal help by phone or email • Our DVDs and Handbooks will support you from afar


Australian Owned and Manufactured

We specialise in providing unique products for fabric designing, silk painƟng, stencilling and more.

Genesis Creations™ Anne Mitchell 07 4613 4426 / 0418 771 808

OVER 3000 FABRICS, HABY, CLASSES & MUCH MORE! 25 Mt Barker Road, Totness SA 5250 (on the Hahndorf to Mt Barker Road opposite Dutton Holden)

Now with exciting new coffee, homemade cakes and light lunch options! Find us on facebook: (08) 8391 4623 • We offer a wide range of fabrics including:

Indigenous and Australia prints, Japanese and Asian prints, batiks, florals, novelties and lots of blenders.

Collections by a var designers and distribut iety of ors namely: Moda, Robert Kau fman, RJR, Jinny Beyer, McKenna Ryan, Laurel Bur ch, Clothworks, Northcott, Hoffman, Kon a Bay, Michael Miller, Benartex, Alexand er Henry, Andover, Red Rooster, Free Spirit, Loralie Designs and more.

of many Full range cluding: in blenders thcott

or y, all the N and Hand Spra eyer Pallett B y n n Ji , iller M l ae Textures h ic M ssil Ferns, Fo ore! , m es d pl an ip R nts t, Fingerpai Fairy Fros

ock: We also st ery, specialist

haberdash nded A range of adeira stra DMC and M yon, , ra ds ry ee n de s oi br quilter achine em s, m ad ra re ei th ad g thread, M d quiltin n Sew-all an g threads, in ilt Guterman qu t and King Tu s and Australian Signature ok d lots of bo an ts lo s and kits. plus ed pattern and import

Mail order is available. We are happy y to send & receive samples by email for remote cus customers.

Dragonfly Fabrics


Shops 2 & 3, 53 Alawa Cres. ALAWA NT 0810 p. (08) 8948 0691 f. (08) 8948 0694 e.

creative corner • Jo Joz Art Studio Is the creation of Australian artist Joanne Cramatte Specialising in unique Polymer Clay handicrafts

BUTTONS AND EMBELLISHMENTS Colours can be matched to your yarn or material and designs can be created to suit your project. Perfect for Knitwear, Stitchery, Scrapbooking and Quilting. PERSONALISED NAME BROOCHES for Nurses, Teachers... in fact all Professions! Joanne will design one to your UNIQUENESS!!! CONTACT Phone: 0419 732 425 Email:

Gather at least 15 of your quilting friends and have a lot of fun with a “Quilting Party” BOOK NOW FOR


We have a huge range of fabrics including a large range of Bali Batiks, Jennyfer Paganelli, Tula Pink, kids fabrics and pre-cuts such as Jelly Rolls, charms and fat quarter packs. A selection of quilting notions and threads such as The Bottom Line, and Superior Threads, Creative Grids rulers, Scissors, cutters etc. All at least 25% cheaper than the RRP. Books on quilting, appliqué, modern blocks and many more.

Demonstrations of the latest quilting gadgets, quick and easy blocks and techniques! Hold the party at your home, place of meeting or your next retreat or just have the shop visit your next quilt show. We also cover most NSW country areas.

For further information and bookings, don’t hesitate to contact me at maru@materialgirlsdownunder, 02 9787 9564, 0431 337 446


FABRIC • PATTERNS • THREADS • QUILTING SUPPLIES • CLASSES Address: 4 Ireland St, Bright VIC 3741 Phone: 03 5755 5118 Email: Online store:

in the shops

Classic With A Twist

Florence and Myrtle

Harkaway Homes

You can’t beat the blue-and-white colour scheme in this beautiful rug by Classic with a Twist. Place it in your living room or bedroom for a peaceful and calming ambience.

Florence and Myrtle offers 100 per cent soy candles poured in beautiful glassware. Available at the Sunday Queen Victoria Market Shed I Organics and the in.cube8r gallery on Smith St. Fitzroy.

One of the signature houses from Harkaway Homes, the Victorian Traditional series is a classic design. Tall walls, high ceilings, a central hallway, French doors and leadlight windows are key features.

store strolling Things we love that you are bound to want in your life. Compiled by Daria Kurilo


French & Gorgeous


Featuring a delicate swallow, these earrings are etched with intricate detailing and emit natureinspired appeal. Handcrafted with sterling silver and dipped in rhodium for a subtle sheen.

Interior designer Helen King’s latest cushion collection draws on beautiful cabbage and rose designs. Shipped over from the UK, French & Gorgeous also offers stunning linen florals and stripes.

The industrial stainless steel comb by Go-Comb makes for an unusual and functional gift. Designed to fit like a credit card into any wallet, the combs are available in a range of different colours and striking patterns.

Australian Alpaca Centre

Scrumpy Soap

Villa Maison

Welcome the colder months and introduce muchneeded staple accessories to your wardrobe. This silk scarf is the perfect throw-over piece for day and night.

Enjoy knowing what you are putting on your skin with the organic and natural Scumpy Soap products. All soaps are 100 per cent natural with no palm oil included and are also animal-cruelty free.

This elegant horse on a stand is a grand piece for your office, lounge or entry way. It combines a feeling of graceful movement and delicate detailing in a bronze finish.


in the shops

Shop Inside

Jsala Soy Candles

WAM Home Decor

Bold and beautiful, these cushions by Kas offer complementary segments of colour. Available in a range of prints and patterns, they will bring life to your living spaces.

With more than 45 fragrances to choose from, Jsala candles are 100 per cent soy and offer traditional as well as modern scents and designs. The company can create hampers for any occasion, wedding bonbonnieres and personalised labels.

Rest your head in style with WAM’s latest collection of cushions. These boldly embroidered cushions are beautifully embellished on a cotton fabric and will make a great addition to your home décor.

Howard Products


Pressed Tin Panels

Give your wooden furniture the royal treatment with Howard’s Orange Oil, a surface polish containing only top-quality ingredients. Effective and economical, the product replenishes essential oils in the wood.

VELUX skylights can bring in the light, but keep the heat out and are perfect for those hot summer days. They can brighten even the darkest corridors or stairwells with beautiful natural lighting.

A subtle statement is easily achieved with Pressed Tin Panels. The simple design and neutral palette epitomise understated elegance and will make your interiors the envy of many.

Candle Me

Treloar Roses


The latest collection from Candle Me offers candles of character, with each candle contained in a unique vintage jar. These candles emit soothing kitchenbased scents.

Dark Desire roses are one of the first varieties to form part of the new Parfuma collection by Kordes. With an intense fragrance, these purple red blooms grow upright with luscious vigor.

The Yealands Estate Land Made series of wines is sourced from New Zealand’s leading wine regions. Notes of stone fruit and guava are underpinned with notes of fresh herbs.


Out & about By Daria Kurilo

Wyong Family Fun Day Races While the adults enjoyed the punting and the racing side of things, it was the kids who stole the show as Wyong Racecourse saw plenty of stunning outfits from the little racegoers. With Best Under Fives and Miss & Master Young Wyong for ages six to 11 and 12 to 16, kids shone in their costumes and summer race wear, with one particular little girl outshining the rest. As daughter of well-known Ukrainian jockey Serg Lisnyy, the little girl wore a miniature jockey outfit and took home the Best Under Fives title. The poor weather prior to race day might have encouraged a few trainers to scratch their horses from the races, but it did not prevent the hundreds of visitors and families from attending and enjoying the event. Live music, free entertainment and performances as well as a range of activities and games were the order of the day. From Kiddie Kartz and bouncing castles to inflatable mazes and roving magicians, the day proved a great Sunday outing for families. As for the four-legged stars, big city trainer Gai Waterhouse’s Ready Already appreciated the step up to 1600 metres for the first time when the thoroughbred won the 2GO-Central Coast Greatest Hits Maiden race. All athletes passed the finishing line safe and satisfied except for jockey James McDonald, who escaped unharmed after falling from Unrealistic on the home turn in race four. Races were won, odds were beaten and glasses of bubbly consumed, but the highlight of the meeting was undoubtedly the effort of the youngsters in the Kids’ Fashions on the Field.

Let us know about your upcoming event. Email the Editor, Kirsty McKenzie on T THIS PAGE: The T Wyong Family Fun F Day Races made a great day out for young y and old, with plenty p of equestrian action a and an excuse e to dress up, particularly p for the younger y generation.

sscene c e n e & heard with

THIS PAGE: Winners were grinners at the race day, which is an annual event held close to Australia Day. au a aust aus ust us u s st tra ra rali ral al ali la anc an anco nc nco n countr co ou unt untr un ntr n ntry.n yne yn ne n t.a t au a u

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just browsing

By Daria Kurilo & Sylvana El-K haz en

A Simple Table MICHELLE CRANSTON, MURDOCH BOOKS, $39.99 Michelle Cranston has enjoyed a 25-year career as a cook and food stylist, and is currently Food Editor at Large at The Australian Women’s Weekly. A Simple Table is Cranston’s newest and 13th cookbook, and it features uncomplicated yet mouth-watering recipes, which prove that simple food can still be colourful and full of flavour. What makes

this cookbook special is how it is divided into chapters based on how we eat. For instance, Two Bowls is for those nights we are home alone or cooking for two, and One Pot is for the cooking a range of wonderful ingredients together into a simple dish for a hungry family.

Guillaume food for family GUILLAUME BRAHIMI, PENGUIN BOOKS, $79.99 Embark on a personal food-infused journey

with acclaimed French-Australian chef Guillaume Brahimi with his latest book, Guillaume Food For Family. Guillaume reflects his proud heritage through the fantastic recipes presented in this book. Featuring different hosts in each chapter, readers can sample food served in some of Sydney’s most charming and stylish homes. Be inspired as Guillaume shares his best and most special family recipes as well as relaxed and easy meals designed to satisfy a busy and hungry household. Including crispy potato cakes with speck, garlic and thyme, chicken risotto with peas and lemon, and caramelised apple and roasted oat muffins, c these heartfelt recipes are for families to t indulge and enjoy. i

T The Australian Women’s W Weekly Love to Bake

Retro Fashion LUCINDA GOSLING, NEW HOLLAND, $45.99 From festivals celebrating the style, attitude and music off the h past to Hollywood ll d stars in vintage couture, Retro Fashion brings you iconic styles from the 20th century. Take a trip down memory lane and flip through 400 images reflecting the rapid evolution of fashion. Author Lucinda Gosling is a historian and has contributed articles on illustration, royal history and WWI, topics which are presented in this fascinating compilation. This volume is not only a celebration of glamour and style, but also an interesting insight into how clothes play a major role in our lives. 142

T AUSTRALIAN WOMEN’S THE WEEKLY, RANDOM HOUSE, $55 W AWW’s Love to Bake is a delicious collection A of o baked goodies, ranging from gluten-free and a much loved classics, to some recipes that have h more than a little wow factor. Chapters are a divided into the many types of bakers out there: the lazy baker, the weekend baker, the t healthy baker, the baker who loves to show off h and make the best in show. This recipe book has something for everyone, and the beautiful photography is sure to get any food lover’s mouth watering. Among the many the recipes readers can look forward to are the chocolate, raspberry and coffee cream roulade, moist chocolate and coconut cake and baklava torte.

just browsing

Wild Lands

Green Nomads BOB BROWN, HARDIE GRANT, $45 This book offers a stunning visual diary of a 19,000-kilometre journey Bob Brown and his partner, Paul Thomas, took across Australia visiting areas owned and managed by Bush Heritage Australia. The photographic record of their travels features breath-taking imagery capturing the natural world of this great southern land. It is a fine body of work from one Australia’s most prominent environmentalists, with Brown having been the director of the Tasmanian Wilderness Society, a founding member of, and federal MP for, the Australian Greens, and the founder of the Bob Brown Foundation, a foundation to protect Australia’s natural environment.

My Family Table ELEANOR OZICH, MURDOCH BOOKS, $39.99 Eleanor Ozich’s second book features a great range of recipes, including gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options. What is original about this cookbook is Ozich’s focus on using wholefoods. She explores the benefits of raising her children on a wholefood diet, something which changed the way she and her husband think of food as well. The book also features beautiful and mouth-watering images of the healthy meals. She is the owner of popular blog, Petite Kitchen, and her My Petite Kitchen Cookbook sold 30,000 copies.

Life Style TRICIA FOLEY, HARDIE GRANT, $79.95 Life Style: Elegant Simplicity at Home offers interiors that are simple and minimalist. Tricia Foley’s interior design is characterised by the colour white and natural materials, creating serene and harmonious rooms that encourage refuge. Life Style is the designer and author’s tenth book, and it is sure to impress her devotees as it takes readers inside her Long Island property. This book encourages editing and keeping only those things that have meaning.

NICOLE ALEXANDER, RANDOM HOUSE, $32.99 Nicole Alexander has spent a number of years working in Australia and abroad and has a Masters of Letters. Her experience, knowledge and way with words bring you her new book, Wild Lands. Set in early 19th-century Australia, 20-year-old Kate Carter accepts a position on an isolated farm, unaware she is entering a land of outlaws, adventures and murderers. This epic novel is a coming-of-age story and echoes bravery, loyalty and impossible love that takes the reader on a spellbinding journey from the streets of early Sydney to the heart of Australia’s wild and untamed land. Nicole writes with a deep love of the land inspired by her own life in the country.

Sweet Caress WILLIAM BOYD, ALLEN & UNWIN, $29.99 Internationally best-selling author William Boyd writes with an absolute mastery of tone in his 16th and latest novel, Sweet Caress. A story of a life well lived, it is based on the unforgettable woman, Amory Clay, who was also one of the first female war photographers. Extracts from a diary written late in life in 1977, detail her daily life and her journey for the search of life, love and artistic expression. Her adulthood takes many unexpected turns leading her to the demi monde of late 1920s Berlin, New York of the 1930s, the blackshirt riots in London and then to France in the Second World War. William has created a sweeping panorama of some of the most defined moments of modern history told through the camera lens of Amory Clay.

Biota: Grow. Gather. Cook. JAMES VILES, MURDOCH BOOKS, $59.99 Biota: Grow. Gather. Cook. is the first book for one Australia’s most respected chefs and restaurateurs, James Viles. The book is divided into garden, forest and farm, and encourages readers to appreciate the

land and eat sustainably. Readers are also given a glimpse into James’ journey to fully appreciating the true gifts of nature, and how it is so intricately connected to this role as a chef. Even more enticing is the photography by Jason Loucas. James is the owner and chef of two-hatted Biota Dining & Rooms in Bowral, NSW.


readers letters readers’ letters

thanks for being in touch. we welcome your feedback.

Win a Prize


Last issue generated lots of helpful feedback from our readers.

Just got around to the last few pages of the latest issue and read the comment from Mary Arnott about the weight loss ad in the previous issue. I fully concur with Mary and almost said out loud “oh no�. I also enjoy the countryside, gardens, cooking, fashion and people – and as I am due to resubscribe next issue, was seriously thinking about finding another country magazine to enjoy with my eldest daughter who lives on property in regional suburbia. Judy Darby, Coffs Harbour Jetty NSW Ed’s note: We hear you Judy. There will be no more weight loss ads.

Bouquet Oh my. I have only read a little of this edition so far, as I have only just picked it up from the newsagency, but already fallen in love with a couple of stories — COLLECTOR profile COLLECTOR profile

I must admit I was surprised to see a story about an English garden in Australian Country. There are lots of beautiful gardens in Australia you can showcase. Tracey James, Sunshine Vic Ed’s note: Yes there are, and we run Australian gardens regularly, Tracey. But we believe inspirational beauty should be celebrated, wherever it is. Our upcoming Travelrite tour of England and Europe in August takes in amazing gardens in the UK, France and Italy (travelrite.

Aprons were an accidental collection for Ballarat’s Morgan Wills but that didn’t stop her giving the humble garment its own festival. By Sue Pe acock , photography Kim Selby

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Kewpie cuteness; Morgan wears her vintage aprons while in her Ballarat shop, The Craft Squirrel.


45 2/1/2016 11:47:13 AM

And the winner is ...

Judy Darby, of Coffs Harbour Jetty NSW wins two gorgeous “can�dles from Our Own Candle Co plus a copy of Soy Candles: How to Make Soy Wax Candles by Glenda Short (New Holland).


Nostalgia Chick is an absolute favourite — keep up the fabulous eort. I can’t wait to read more. Ann Hole, Naracoorte SA

Why England?

Nostalgia chick

Wills prepares Every Friday morning when Morgan store, she chooses to shopkeep at her Ballarat corner and coordinates a vintage apron from her collection RWRJUDSKDQG KHURXWĆŹWWRPDWFK6KHWKHQWDNHVDSK bit of the apronposts it on social media with a little KDQ RIWKHGD\oVVWRU\6KHoVEHHQGRLQJLWIRUPRUHW KHP ZHHNVp,ORYHWRGRFXPHQWWKHPDQGJLYHW WKHLUPRPHQWLQWKHVXQqVKHVD\V largely to the Aprons may have fallen out of favour, thanks has this says Morgan clothing. rise in cheaply manufactured as their protective seen aprons relegated to the quaint aisle, believes they are an properties are no longer needed, but she preserving. important part of our heritage and are worth image of the is people of lot a for mind to “What comes apron but the pretty little housewife wearing her hostess are garments aprons cross both genders,â€? she says. “They and working. worn in the act of doing — making, creating mechanics, Blacksmiths wear aprons as do butchers, carpenters, chefs, even freemasons.â€? lies primarily in For her, however, the appeal of aprons aprons in the fabric. Her collection consists of domestic am a collector by many different fabrics and patterns. “I vintage textiles nature but it was because I was collecting that I started and woollen jumpers to felt and refashion — just the one odd the buying and aprons coming across real gems,â€? she explains. years since Her collection has taken off in the four a small moving from Melbourne to Ballarat. From now has about 350, collection of 30–40, she estimates she of Australian including the crème de la crème, a number unworn and Taniwha aprons dating back to the 1930s, with their tags attached. “These “I collect a lot of Taniwha aprons,â€? she says.

Thanks for being in touch. We welcome your feedback. We appreciate your thoughts and in each issue, one correspondent wins a prize. Simply email the team at or write to us at Australian Country, Locked Bag 154, North Ryde NSW 1670. We reserve the right to edit lengthy letters before publication. Our favourite correspondent next issue will win a basket of goodies from MooGoo.

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Prema Perera Janice Williams Vicky Mahadeva Emma Perera Karen Day Mark Darton Kate Podger Anastasia Casey Chelsea Peters

Australian Country Vol. 19 No 3 (No 113 ) is published by Universal Magazines, Unit 5, 6-8 Byfield Street, North Ryde NSW 2113. Phone: (02) 9805 0399, Fax: (02) 9805 0714. Melbourne office, Suite 4, Level 1, 150 Albert Road, South Melbourne Vic 3205. Phone (03) 9694 6444 Fax: (03) 9699 7890. Printed in Singapore by Times Printers, Distributed by Network Services, (02) 9282 8777. Singapore — Car Kit Pte Ph 65 6 282 1960 NZ Distributors: Needlecraft: (06) 356 4793, fax: (06) 355 4594, Netlink, (09) 366 9966 This book is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission. Enquiries should be addressed to the publishers. The publisher believes all the information supplied in this book to be correct at the time of printing. They are not, however, in a position to make a guarantee to this effect and accept no liability in the event of any information proving inaccurate. Prices, addresses and phone numbers were, after investigation and to the best of our knowledge and belief, up to date at the time of printing, but the shifting sands of time may change them in some cases. It is not possible for the publishers to ensure that advertisements which appear in this publication comply with the Trade Practices Act, 1974. The responsibility must therefore be on the person, company or advertising agency submitting the advertisements for publication. While every endeavour has been made to ensure complete accuracy, the publishers cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. * Recommended retail price ISSN 1323-9708 Copyright © Universal Magazines MMXVI ACN 003 026 944 Please pass on or recycle this magazine. This magazine is printed on paper produced in a mill that meets Environmental Management System ISO 9001.



of Australian Country we’ve sourced another bumper crop of stories for your reading pleasure. We travel to Tasmania where we had unprecedented access to the World-Heritage listed Woolmers homestead and National Rose Garden. In NSW, we compile our Food Files feature with assistance from Cornersmith Cafe and Picklery co-owner Alex ElliottHowery, visit Garry & Linda McDouall and tour their home and edible garden on the banks of the Gwydir River at Bingara, and our fashion feature celebrates the apple harvest at Bilpin in the lower Blue Mountains. In the Victorian Goldfields we meet David Glenn, creator of the amazingly bountiful dry climate garden, Lambley, and his wife and soulmate, botanic artist Criss Canning. Our cooking story salutes the aromatic delights of the quince and our service feature brings you all the latest news in heating. So join us for

AUSTRALIAN COUNTRY 19.4 on sale april 29


where to buy

Finishing Touches page 76

STOCKISTS & CONTACTS 1825 Interiors 29 Elizabeth St, Wetherill Park NSW 2164. ph: (02) 9616 6600, e:, w: Alliance Furniture Trading w: Annabel James e: hello@annabel, w: Annabel Trends 18 Alex Fisher Dr, Burleigh Heads Qld 4220. ph: (07) 5593 4755, w: Amalfi Homewares 87 Chifley Drive, Preston, VIC 3072. Ph: (03) 9474 1300 w: Art Hide w: Australian Alpaca Centre e:, w: Bowerbird w: Boyd Blue ph: (07) 5527 0899, e:, w: Bungalow Living Dayboro Qld 4521. m: 0419 684 689, e:, w: Burbia Suite 5a, Level 5, 2-12 Foveaux St, Surry Hills NSW 2010. m: 0416 920 412, e:, w: Candle Me m: 0400 347 004, w: Classic with a Twist ph: (03) 9510 4561, e:, w: Currey & Company e: info@curreyco. com, w: Down That Little Lane e:, w: Einrichten-design e:, w: Emporium 87 Chifley Dr, Preston Vic 3072. ph: (03) 9474 1300, w:

Baker’s Dozen page 12


Store Strolling page 136 Fake Bake w: Florence & Myrtle m: 0422 481 147, e:, w: French & Gorgeous m: 0400 513 266 e:, w: Gifts You Pick m: 0437 014 411, e:, w: Go-Comb w: Goodness Natural Beauty Lab e:, w: Harkaway Homes Cnr Princes Hwy & Station St, Officer Vic 3809. ph: (03) 5943 2388, e:, w: House of Home ph: (03) 9257 3260, w: Howard Products 33 Griffin Ave, Tamworth, NSW 2340. ph: 1800 672 646, w: In-Spaces e:, w: Jack Crick Wares w: Jsala Soy Candles m: 0433 467 226, e:, w: Laura Ashley ph: 1800 033 453,

e: cusstom om o mer. e ser servic vice@l vic e@ e@l @ au aaur u a-a a sh shley. shl eyy com ey. co om. o au, w: Life! 44 Ellingworth Parade, Box Hill Vic 3138. ph: (03) 9897 0700, w: Molton Brown ph: 1 800 468 318, w: MooGoo ph: 1300 213 828, e: info@, w: Our Kitchen Garden m: 0407 168 916, e:, w: Oxfam ph: 1800 088 455, e:, w: Pillow Talk ph: 1800 630 690, e:, w: Pressed Tin Panels 22 Vale Rd, Bathurst NSW 2795. ph: (02) 6332 1738, w: Raw Decor 93, Victoria Ave, Albert Park, Melbourne VIC 3206. ph: (03) 9645 9305, e:, w: Revitanail 106 Vanessa St, Kingsgrove NSW 2208. ph: 1800 651 146, w: Rogue 87 Chifley Dr, Preston Vic 3072. ph: (03) 9474 1300, e:, w: Scrumpy Soap m: 0424 713 202, e:, w: Shop Inside Homewares ph: (03) 9931 0160, e:, w: Sofa & Soul 614 Church St, Richmond Vic 3121. ph: (03) 9427 8555, w:

Splosh Spl losh ossh ph: o ph h: (07) (07)) 3711 2887, 288 87, 7, e: sales@ sal sales alles@ ess, w: Sweet Pea and Willow e: info@, w: Tinkered By Wooramel Station via Carnarvon, WA, 6701. m: 0417 425 801, e:, w: The Contemporary Home e:, w: The Toucan Shop 211 Johnston St, Annandale NSW 2038. m: 0408 969 777, e: Treloar Roses 216 Princes Hwy, Portland, Vic 3305. ph: 1300 044 852, e:, w: Trilogy ph: +64 4 499 7820, w: Velux w: Villa Maison w: WAM Home DĂŠcor, 400 Foleys Rd, Derrimut Vic 3030. ph: (03) 8390 3333, e:, w: Xavier Furniture Suite 1 / 5-7 Cairns St, Loganholme Qld. ph: (07) 3806 5370, e:, w: Yealands Estate Wines Limited Cnr Seaview & Reserve Rds, Seddon, Marlborough 7285 or PO Box 545, Blenheim 7240 New Zealand. ph: +64 3 575 7618, w: Yellow Octopus ph: (02) 8064 7668, e:, w: Zimba ph: 1800 147 538, e: info@, w:


p. 08 9204 4436 m. (Alanna) 0417 176 967 (Paul) 0438 943 331 e. Wholesale enquiries welcome

Issue#19.3 Mar 2016  

In the NSW Southern Highlands, we profile a whisky distillery in the remote ghost town of Joadja and visit caterer Brigid Kennedy at her gor...

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